Many professionals move through their careers with the notion that hard work pays off. While working hard has its benefits, working smart is often the better option. It allows you to achieve similar gains while reducing the cumulative amount of effort required, and that can boost profitability. Here’s a look at five reasons why working smarter will get you more money.
1. Enhanced Efficiency
Working smarter is all about finding ways to boost efficiency, ensuring you aren’t spending unnecessary time and effort to accomplish a task. In turn, productivity often rises because activities take less time. For professionals where outputs are used to determine compensation, this leads to a financial gain.
Greater efficiency can also result in lower resource usage. For example, if you work with physical materials to create items, efficient use of those materials can lead to less waste. You can get more out of your materials before you need to replenish that resource, allowing you to save money while you work.
There are several strategies that can lead to efficiency gains. Investing in the right tools for the job – be them physical equipment, software, or anything else – is working smarter. You’re spending money in ways that let you handle tasks quickly, correctly, and with less effort. Similarly, paying for training that allows you to streamline a process or embrace a better approach can also qualify.
2. Fewer Tasks
Another way that working smarter can boost productivity – which can lead to financial gains – is that it creates opportunities to reduce your workload. One classic example is intelligent delegation. Whether that involves giving tasks to employees or hiring freelancers or similar short-term contractors to tackle activities outside of your niche, it can result in a financial gain.
Often, handling responsibilities that are outside of your wheelhouse takes far more time. That keeps you away from other profit-driving tasks that you can do quickly and well, and potentially overloads you. As a result, by managing fewer activities personally, you may actually come out financially ahead, even if you have to pay a freelancer or contractor to tackle those responsibilities.
Another prime example of task reduction leading to additional profits is automation. Usually, automating tedious, repetitive, recurring activities not only reduces your personal workload; it speeds up timelines and reduces error rates. Plus, your work is more engaging, which can lead to productivity boosts. Altogether, that can let you spend more time on interesting, profit-driving work, all while ensuring the mundane tasks are handled correctly.
3. Greater Control
For freelancers or short-term contractors, working smarter usually involves picking and choosing your clients to curate your ideal professional experience. When you do, you also get the opportunity to determine whether the proposed compensation makes a specific project worthwhile.
By being strategic about your selection, you can avoid projects where the effort required doesn’t make sense based on the profit you’ll earn. That decision is a quintessential part of working smarter, not harder, as you’re focusing on the options with the most potential.
Plus, the higher degree of control can keep a project that doesn’t come with competitive compensation from preventing you from taking on a more lucrative alternative if you don’t have the time for both. As a result, you end up making more money for your time.
4. Improved Engagement
While working hard is often touted as a pathway toward success, a professional can only push themselves so much before they run the risk of burnout. This is particularly true if the extra effort isn’t automatically translating into higher compensation.
By working smarter instead, you aren’t pushing yourself to the brink. In turn, your engagement typically stays higher, which can improve your productivity and morale. Since happier people tend to outperform colleagues with less job satisfaction, you can still further your career without the burdens associated with the “work harder” strategy.
5. Space for Innovation
When you’re working harder, you don’t always have the mental capacity to think creatively when devising solutions. Instead, you may only have time to continue on with business as usual, and that’s not always ideal.
By working smarter instead, you typically reduce your overall burden. As a result, you may have the breathing room necessary to think creatively, which may lead to innovation.
Innovation is beneficial for several reasons. It could allow you to update a process in a way that reduces costs. In other cases, it may lead to a new product or service design that provides something competitors don’t offer, making it easier to capture more market share and secure new customers while having a new option for existing clients to consider.
Ultimately, innovation is often the key to ongoing growth and long-term efficiency improvements. Since that’s the case, working smarter, not harder, is a strategy worth embracing.
Can you think of any other reasons why working smart will get you more money? Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to work smarter to reduce costs but isn’t sure where to begin? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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