How You Can Work Smarter to Make Your Hard Work Pay Off

How You Can Work Smarter to Make Your Hard Work Pay Off

Learning to work smarter, not just harder is a surefire way to accelerate and even amplify your success.

However, there is a big difference between believing you can avoid hard work if you work smarter and knowing that working smarter will help ensure your hard work will pay off.

In an article titled “5 Thoughts That Will Keep You From Being Rich By 30”, entrepreneur Adam Toren shares that:

“Thinking “I deserve to be successful,” or “I work smart, not hard” are two examples of mindsets that can hinder your growth.”

Among my entrepreneurial friends we joke about being a “ 5 year (or more!) overnight success”. I have yet to meet a successful person who has not worked exceedingly hard to be where they are. Success often seems easier than it actually was to achieve in hindsight, at least when you are looking from the outside in.

Yet some people do make it seem easier than others, and there are definitely those who find a faster track to get where they want to go.

The real key to what may seem like magical or “lucky” success is more often than not working smart.

So if you want to learn to work smarter, here are 3 three habits of highly successful people for you to emulate:

Stay ruthlessly focused.

Far too many ambitious and capable people suffer from the affliction of “shiny object syndrome”. Successful people by their nature are often insatiably curious which is the source of innovative ideas and abundant energy. Yet that curiosity can also send you down rabbit holes disguised as great opportunities.

The most successful people channel their curiosity into their very narrow focus.

They also know they can’t do everything so they make choices in their business and life that support them in achieving their very clear and narrowly focused goals.

They say no without apology, and are ruthlessly selective about who and what they say yes to.

They learn from other people’s mistakes, not just their own.

Experience is a valuable teacher, so the most successful people learn from other people’s experience as much as they own. Hindsight is indeed 20-20 so they actively find ways to leverage the hindsight of others who have gone before them. Whether it’s a mentor, a teacher or methodical research they endeavor to prevent unnecessary missteps and even some failures by learning from the experience of others. They also model the successful behaviors, beliefs, approaches and actions of others who have achieved what they aspire to achieve next. They refuse to waste time “reinventing the wheel” whenever possible.

Of course, they make mistakes of their own despite their best efforts to prevent them. When they do, however, the most successful people own and learn from their own mistakes and failures.

They choose to work hard on the things that matter most.

The most successful people thrive on earning their success and find hard work satisfying. Yet, the most successful people also hate working hard doing things that waste time and making unnecessary mistakes. They recognize there are often no shortcuts so they endeavor to invest themselves in doing what matters most and doing it to the best of their ability.

While working smart may seem to come more naturally to the most successful people among us, the real source of consistently smart decisions comes from the

above habits.

So if you want to work smarter to ensure your hard work pays off, here are a few practices you can adopt immediately from the habits of the most successful among us:

  1. Get clear about what you want
  2. Maintain a ruthless focus on what you want by using it as a basis for your everyday choices
  3. Channel your curiosity with focus and discipline so you can learn from others and become the best at what you choose to do

Start doing all three of these things now and you will add smarts to your hard work and earn your way to the success you want.


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