In the realm of phrases that are often used to talk about what we do every day, we toss around "working hard". Everything from what it takes to succeed in life, to social media and business and writing and all the things in between.
But here's something to consider.
Working long hours doesn't, by default, mean you're working hard. You can work for hours at something totally and utterly valueless, and that doesn't get you to where you want to be.
There's an adage about working smarter, and that's part of it. But you can work smart for an hour and not get anywhere, either.
The trick is in the balance between the two. It's putting in serious, significant effort toward the things that line up with your priorities, goals, and needs. See the difference?
A 16-hour day is not a badge of honor. An email inbox full of 300+ messages isn't an indicator of how successful you are. Those things are absolutely empty - foolish, even - unless the work you put toward them has impact on the end game, whatever that may be.
So when you say to us "I'm working so hard but not getting results", it's really likely you're putting your effort in the wrong place. Don't work blindly. Work diligently, with a keen editing eye, and if it's long hours you intend to point to as evidence of your accomplishments, let them be hours spent in the places that matter. Busy isn't the same as working hard.
That's a tough game, isn't it? It's not enough to just put in the hours. A lot of the game is just showing up, but it's not ALL of the game, not anymore. There's way too much competition, plenty of noise, and way too many people willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. They're making hard choices about what NOT to do in favor of focusing relentlessly on their mission-critical stuff.
So are you truly working hard, or are you just putting in the long hours? Are you auditing your work to be sure those hours are well spent? I know I have to work at this every day.
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