Work hard or work smart?

work hard or work smart job internship

It is always difficult for us to choose one amongst these two approaches in life i.e. working hard and working smart. This is because most of us assume that anything achieved by hard work requires more time and energy while completion of any work by a smarter approach requires minimum time and less effort.


We would have come across people saying that hard work is the key to success. Many personalities who have succeeded in life also quote this as an important factor that has contributed to their success. So, what does working hard mean? The definition of hard work can be different, depending on perspectives. Someone can work 40 years of their life for one company and be referred to as a “hard worker,” while an entrepreneur can work hard for five years while building a company, and then live the rest of his life financially free.

If one needs a simple example for this approach, then we need to recall the story of the thirsty crow. A thirsty crow finds an earthen pitcher which had very little water at the bottom and hence the crow was unable to drink it.  The clever crow thought of a plan and started dropping pebbles patiently into the pitcher until the water rose to a level, which could be drunk.  This story is an example of how we can work hard to solve a problem.

But, is this approach the only way for solving problems? Do we really have enough time to put in so much effort?  In real life, the circumstances are dynamic and we are often forced to change the approach for achieving our goal. Also, in certain situations, the sudden change of plan/approach could rattle and confuse us. Here’s where there is a need for exploring an alternate approach and let’s see what that could be.

A widely accepted alternate approach is to work in a smarter way. It is often considered a sign of being lazy when we speak of this approach. However, that’s not the case.  If you are actively working towards achieving your goal, working smart can actually catalyze your process. So, smart work accelerates your journey towards reaching the goal. This has been widely adopted globally by many organizations as it has a higher probability of accomplishing any task.

Here’s a simple story which can make you understand what smart work is: A king had three sons and he wanted to select the rightful heir for his kingdom as he was aging. So, he decided to assign a task to all his sons and declare the winner as his heir. The task was to fill a large room with only one substance without any gap and this task should be completed in half an hour. All three sons were assigned separate rooms and they were asked to move in different directions to find a substance for filling the room. The first son filled the room with large stones with the help of servants and the second son filled the room with hay with the help of his servants. The third son went to his dressing room and picked up a small bottle filled with liquid. He sprinkled the liquid in all directions of the room. After half an hour, the king examined the first two rooms, filled with stones and hay respectively and found minute gaps between them. The third room was filled with the fragrance of Jasmine and the entire room including the corners had the aroma. The King hence selected his third son as his heir. The task provided by the King was accomplished in a smarter way by his third son.


Finally, got the Job!