Hard Work Vs. Done

What Matters Most? Hard Work or Getting It Done?

Consider the following conversation with a 1960’s factory-model believer business owner and his newly joined employee:

Owner: “You haven’t worked for 260 hours (26 days * 10 hours) this month hence you need to be monitored against a performance improvement plan. Don’t you know, how much we value hard work?”

Employee: “Well, I accomplished all the tasks assigned to me in just 100 hours and I also spent 60 more hours in initiating and planning an important project that will bring our organization huge profits in the months to come. I found out ways so that I can do more with less input.”

Owner: “Well, that’s okay that but this means you don’t follow company rules. I need people who work really hard, same as I do. I have consistently invested 14-16 hours a day for last 20 years to bring the organization to this level. We have only two rules in our organization.”

Rule 1: All the employees work hard no matter what.
Rule 2: If you have any other idea, then refer to rule #1.

Employee: “OK Sir, I got to know how much hard work matters in our organization. I will keep in mind from now onwards.”

And, the employee left the organization within a week to work for an organization which allowed him to work the other way.

But if you’re a business owner who runs an indispensable business and does not fear employing indispensable persons, answers to below questions might be easy for you.

“What matters most?  Hard work or the smart work?”

Indispensable business owner: “Whatever gets things done, works for me.”

“Is the organization is happy if an employee accomplishes all of her work and enjoys rest of her time the way she wants?”

Indispensable business owner: “More than happy. Client delight is our chief focus area and our employees are organization’s first clients!”

Stever Robbins’ book – Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More – is for individuals who want to do more and get the best in all they do, by working less!

It offers wisdom and tools packed in 9 steps that will inspire you to change the way you work. Here’s a glimpse of it:

  1. Live on purpose: The best way to work less is to eliminate the unnecessary. That means do only the things which lead you towards your top priority goals. Make sure that your goals, sub-goals, and actions are in sync. Create Life-maps which help you connect your actions with your purpose.
  2. Beat distractions to cultivate focus: Divide the distractions to smaller chunks and rule over them. Eliminate distractions by deferring them to paper and then to designated interruption time. Saying ‘No’ (to unnecessary) is a must-have tool. Single-tasking is the way to go. Focus days, action days or spirit days are effective tools that help you organize your week.
  3. Stop wasting time: Identify 20 % of your tasks that give you 80% of your results. Do more of those. Perfection kills. Learn to settle for ‘good enough’. Limit your options and eliminate the tolerations that create a general drag on your energy.
  4. Leverage: Leverage gets huge results from modest effort. Automation rocks so automate research, reminders, and purchases. Reuse. Combining tasks together is not multitasking – that works!

The end of the ‘beginning’ in Stever’s words leave you girded in the realm of new possibilities of doing what matters to you and inspires you to take over your world!

Sure, working hard has its merits but getting it done matters more (assuming that the ‘done’ is defined right)!