Working harder has its place. But there are times in which more brute effort is not any more effective. We must regularly step back and consider if there’s a smarter way to do our work.
For example, we could move some dirt around with a toy shovel. But a full size one is better for serious yard work. And even still, a bulldozer is best when we need to clear land to lay a foundation.
Without the right equipment, simply working harder does little good. In fact, we just frustrate ourselves and we’re more likely to give up.
Working smarter includes using the right tools to get the job done. But more than just equipment, it’s considering the best approach for the job at hand.
For instance, working countless hours of overtime might not be the best way to provide for our family. Working smarter might include finding a higher paying job that also allows us to maintain a better work/life balance.
Spinning our wheels and having the same fights over and over with our wife is not the best recipe for success. Working smarter might mean inviting a counselor or trusted advisor to help us overcome our gridlock.
Likewise, when it feels like we’re just going through the motions of life without real purpose or meaning, simply keeping our heads down and working harder to maintain the status quo is not helpful. We work smarter by discovering how to use our strength to bring more life and goodness into the world.
In the end, it’s time to work smarter when more effort simply leaves us drained and depleted, and no closer to where we want to be.
By all means, work hard to accomplish all that is yours to do. But regularly step back and consider how you might also work smarter. This keeps you from getting stuck and empowers you to move ever closer towards God’s best.