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Work Hard vs Hard Work

working hard

Work Hard vs Hard Work

This can be a tough topic. Let’s see if we can soften it a bit.

Work definitionan activity involving mental or physical effort in order to achieve a result.

Simply put, work means getting something done.

Hard definition #1: putting a lot of energy into an activity.

Hard definition #2: difficult, unpleasant.

Using the definitions above, let’s start with a distinction: Work Hard (definition #1) vs. Hard Work (definition #2)

  • “Work Hard” – these words are intended to convey an action – something we may choose to do. To do work by putting a lot of energy into an activity. “Work Hard” should feel good. There should be a sense of accomplishment and pride. It’s one of those things you’d want everyone you care about to experience.
  • “Hard Work” – these words are intended to describe a feeling – something we may feel. To feel like work is difficult or unpleasant. When work feels hard, that may not feel good, it may feel unpleasant. You may feel worn out. It’s one of those feelings you wouldn’t prefer.

All of us have worked hard to get things done and also felt like work was hard. Work with extra energy put into it should feel great. Unpleasant work feels not so good. It is my sincere wish for you that you feel the joy of working hard and skip the emotional drain of hard work. With this in mind, here are some tips.

Work Hard:

Put extra energy into your work. Plan your day. I tend to split up my day in two parts – before lunch and after lunch. Identify the things you can get done. Understand how to accomplish the task(s) at hand. Make it simple so that it doesn’t feel difficult. Take a moment to admire what you accomplish each day. Focus on accuracy so you don’t have to do “re-work.” Re-work can feel like a waste of time and that can feel like hard work.

Hard Work:

Sometimes it isn’t possible to avoid unpleasant work. That said, when work feels hard, take a step back. Does it feel hard because it is confusing? Does it feel hard because it is taking too long? Does it feel hard because you need help? Get help. Quickly get with a colleague and find out if there is an easier or faster way to accomplish the task(s). What is the purpose of hard work? If you accomplish this hard work – will it improve a person’s life? Maybe your own professionally? Maybe others who don’t have to do this hard work because you bravely did it for them. Don’t spend too much time in the feeling of “hard work” because it will drain you emotionally. Find a way to make hard work feel less unpleasant.

We all work to get things done. We all contribute in meaningful ways to the groups we are a part of. Decide to make work exciting by putting a lot of energy into the activity. Decide that any unpleasant aspects of work are worth ignoring when compared to the amazing results that come from your effort. Make every day awesome. It will inspire those around you.