Thursday, January 19, 2012

Putting in Work - The Follow-Up

Last weeks response to A Hard Days Work was overwhelming. The message of putting in work and having something to show for it resonated with a lot of readers.

In a day where the path of least resistance is often the first choice, I was pleasantly surprised to see that so many people like doing hard work. Anyone who has lifted weights for any period of time can tell you that the results really begin to show once you start pushing the really heavy weights. Your body rewards you by becoming stronger, bigger, and tougher as a result.  And while many products proclaim a shortcut, time and hard work are the most important variables in any workout regimen.

It comes as no shock that the path of least resistance is the path to least reward. The big bonus, promotion, corner office, recognition and accolades overwhelmingly go to the individuals who forego the easy projects and assignments in favor of the difficult ones.

That is not to say that doing hard work for the sake of just doing it is efficient. There is merit to the cliche "Work Smarter, Not Harder".  Think of it this way, difficult tasks shouldn't be avoided, but approached in a systematic/strategic way.

The most common forms of work, busy and boring, are misconstrued as difficult. Students and workers take on these tasks, knowing their difficulty is low but through mindless adherence fail to automate or delegate them so that they may focus on the difficult and more rewarding tasks.

A bunch of easy projects don't deliver the same satisfaction or reward that one big, hard project will. Using a framework like SMART keeps things in check and ensures that you aren't just running in circles. Choose your hard work wisely, prioritize what's important and reap the rewards.

I'll see you all in the winner's circle.

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