I think perhaps one of the most horrible myths out there today is that: hard work is a good thing. People congratulate each other on hard work, we support it by giving up so much of the rest of our lives, it has been a cultural ideal and frankly I hate hard work.
That might come as a bit of shock to some people since I’ve worked more than one job for years, self published a book, been writing a blog since 2006 and still volunteer at my kid’s school. I’m not afraid of doing work, I just dislike doing hard work.
To me hard work is for the stupid people of the world, when in doubt we toss lots of effort at something and we hope it works. That is the power of hard work if you toss enough hours at something you tend to finish something. Yet we tend to ignore the fact that often smart work is a hell of a lot more efficient in the long run. I love smart work. Manual labour intensive processes and pointless paperwork make the teeth ache so I just avoid doing them as much as humanly possible.
In fact at work, I like to consider myself a bit on the lazy side. I’ll delegate, reassign tasks at the drop of a hat. I’m not attached to my work, if someone else can do it for me I’m more than willing to let them do it. Heck I even spend hours at work reading blogs or visiting with people rather than do hard work. So with that in mind you might expect me to have a poor performance rating, when in fact I’m near the top of my department. How?
I tend to focus most of my efforts on the high impact items, so while I don’t work hard I’m more effective than the major of my co-workers. Management likes me because I get projects done and I do the work well. I just refuse to spend lots of time working on something when in fact you focus on the core items I can get 80% of the work done with a mere 20% of my effort. I could do that last 20%, but often after everyone else reviews the work and puts in their comments and suggestions they finish that for me.
So partly this is why I can work 10% less at my job and really still do the majority of it just fine. This default of the 40 hour work week to me is such bullshit, as it doesn’t address how much work we get done. Instead we worship long hours even if the results are often mediocre. Instead I would love to see work based on effectiveness, but alas that is a long way away since most management don’t particularly understand the difference between hard work and smart work.
How about you? Do you hate hard work as well? What would you do with your week if could just finish your work and go home afterward regardless of the time?