Working Hard vs. Working Smart

05 July 2011
There is a stark difference between working long hours and working efficiently. While "hard" work is essential for cultivating the value of self-discipline, hard work in itself is not enough to land you a freelancing stint in the real world. As a matter of fact, hard work is overrated. Here's why:

cat with glasses
photo credit: Guy with Glasses
Potential clients prefer someone who can work smart. Multi-tasking, adapting to new roles and hitting targets efficiently are valued skills that will outshine the hardworking freelancer on any given day.

With the exception of hourly jobs, you will be gauged by your level of contribution to the business. If extra hours are all that you can bring in, then you're probably persevering but not capable enough to help your client succeed.

Fewer businesses today are willing to pay the full price for your time or your diligence. They expect you to maximize what you can do within a given time frame. Remember that you're not paid to just pass time away or to be on your best behavior. You're paid to deliver tangible output and services.

According to studies, the average human being can stay fully focused for a maximum of two hours only. Imagine how much several 15-minute breaks will add up to when you clock in for 12 hours straight. You are less productive and your client gets less value for hiring you. The next time you prepare to bid on projects, don't say that you are a hard worker. Market yourself as someone who knows how to work smart.*
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