Hardwork v/s Smartwork

Hi all! When we explain someone about productivity, these 2 words hard-work and smart-work inevitably come into consideration. Did you ever think about it? I mean, what “smart-work” really is? How is it different from “hard work”? Keep the answer in your mind and keep reading.

This complete post is based on a conversation happened with CuriousLearner. I am thankful to him for explaining the real meaning of smart-work.

This post is going to be all about questioning and one of a thought-provoking kind.

Nowadays, if we ask someone that what do you prefer between hard-work and smart-work, the most probably answer we’ll get is smart-work. Then, we may ask him in counter that, what do you think a smart-work really is? or rather ask that person directly, what is smart-work?

What is smart-work?

Going over the web, we may find out different people giving a different definition of this term. For example:

  • Smart work is that you do any work with lesser efforts

  • Accurately, performed work within a short period of time that’s called smart work.

So, do you have your definition with you? Let’s see how correct you know about this term.

You must be knowing about Venn diagrams. Suppose hard-work is a circle (first entity) and smart-work is another one (second entity). What do you think? Do hard-work and smart-work are different?

Think about it for a minute or two and keep the answer with you.

Case 1: Yes they are different

If your answer is yes, then you are saying that these 2 entities are different and the intersection of their Venn diagram is empty. That implies:

  • hard-work  –  smart-work  ==  empty
  • hard-work  –  smart-work  ==  empty

But is it really? Don’t you think there is some similarity among both of them?

Case 2: Somewhere they are the same

If this is your answer, then you are saying that the intersection of hard-work and smart-work is not empty. That implies:

  • hard-work  –  smart-work   ==  something
  • smart-work  –  hard-work  ==  something

If you think this is correct, then please tell me what is that <something>? 🙂

Think about it.

Are you able to find out that <something>? If yes, then you are smart, please feel free to comment your solution in the comments section below. I would love to read it. But if no, then why did you chose that somewhere they are the same? 🙂

Anyhow, what about the least responsive answer as follows.

Case 3: Both overlap each other

Now this is really not a good answer, because this implies that:

  • hard-work  ==  smart-work

Which is surely not possible because no matter what, but at least they are not the same. So, what are they?

Case 4: One is a subset of other

Really? If yes, then please think about who is a subset of what?

  • hard-work is a subset of smart-work? or
  • smart-work is a subset of hard-work?


By the time, you need to ponder upon one more important thing. Before reading the post did you really know what smart-work is? If no, then it was like you were trying to do something in your daily life that you did not even know.

And if someone doesn’t know what a smart-work is, then how can s/he claim of practicing it. Isn’t it?

Let’s get to the answer now.

Case 5: Smart-work is a subset of Hard-work

They are not different, yet they are not the same either. Smart-work is actually a subset of hard-work. That implies:

  • hard-work  –  smart-work  ==  something
  • smart-work  –  hard-work  ==  empty

Here, this <something> is all we have known as smart-work. So, what actually is this <something>?

The Smart-work

Smart-work is that part of hard-work in which we plan the process to execute in order to accomplish the goal. As simple as that. A better plan, better execution, thus, better results!

Smart-work never meant to reduce the efforts to accomplish a goal, it always meant to get more efficient and better results with the same effort. Because effort should not be compromised. 🙂

Smart-work is not a shortcut to accomplish the goal, rather it is the way to get accomplishment to be more fruitful.

It is like a vector who give a direction to a quantity. The best example is pushing a  brick.

  • 1D: Pushing a brick against a wall won’t give any result even though you are making efforts. But with the same effort if you push the same brick in the opposite direction, then it will move and you’ll get some work done.
  • 2D: Now condition becomes more complex, now you have 2 axes of motion, you would need to plan, in which direction your goal is present so that so you may push the brick in the correct path.
  • 3D: As we’ll keep adding conditions to a task out of many to achieve the goal, we’ll find out that we need to think more and more to get the correct plan.

In real life to achieve a goal there are numerous possibilities, you need to analyze, research, take feedback, then repeat. Once you are done and your plan is ready to go, your smart-work is already done. Now, what left is hard-work and efforts.

Person A and B did the same job but A got better results than B. Who do you think was smart-worker? Yes,  A. Because s/he well planed his/her tasks and became a smart-worker.


If before reading the post you didn’t know what smart-work is? Then perhaps you had an assumption about the subject. But being clear is the best than remain in an assumption. Make sure that you know about the thing that you claim to be doing. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

See you in the post!

7 thoughts on “Hardwork v/s Smartwork

  1. totally agree with you!
    over time, reduce the engineering vocabulary and switch to plainer English.
    it’ll make your writing more approachable.
    (for e.g. It is like a vector who give a direction to a quantity could be written as it’s like a compass that guides you in the right direction)
    nicely done though!
    keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

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