In this week’s BizTruth, we explore the saying ‘work smarter not harder’ and how this applies to you as a small business owner.
This saying is attributed to Allan Mogensen in the 1930s who was an industrial engineering consultant who is known as the the father of work simplification. Allan would do time and motion studies and train business people in work simplification methods.
Originally work smarter not harder was meant as a catch cry to find simpler ways of operating to improve productivity. It is likely that what Allan was imagining was not just ‘hard’ work but ‘smart’ work.
On face value it makes sense but it seems that something has changed over time in the way we use this saying.
So what does work smarter not harder mean for the average small business owner?
Working hard on its own is not the answer, particularly if are we are working hard on the wrong things.
If you just work hard all the time, you are just going to get tired, worn out, burnt out and things like your family life will suffer.
So it actually makes sense to make sure you are working on smart things or better ways of doing things in your business.
Here’s a couple of examples of working smart:
- Writing a system you and your people can follow so you get things right the first time.
- Taking your time in hiring someone so they work out.
- Reviewing and getting your pricing right so you make a decent profit for the work you are putting in.
Basically, anything that makes it easier or more effective next time you do something.
The key idea here is to work hard on these ‘smart’ things.
Too often, people think it is ok just to work smart and they don’t have to work hard. This is a wonderful thought. However, unfortunately there are all kinds of problems with taking shortcuts and doing things quicker.
The problem over the years is people have forgotten about the working hard bit. Thus, they are not prepared to put the hard work in or stop when it gets too hard.
So, what if it is actually both.
Work smarter and harder.
If you’re prepared to work hard (which most small business owners are), then keep working hard. But make sure you are working hard on the right things by being smart about what you are going to work hard on.
So our verdict for this BizTruth is to work smarter AND harder.
If you work harder on the right (smarter) things as a small business owner, then your business will move forward a lot quicker.