TOR 061: Why Hard Work Is A Lie. Do This Instead To Reap Massive Results

Here’s the latest edition of The Optimized Report newsletter, which features 1 actionable tip every Sunday to help small business owners dramatically improve their performance, profit, and potential without sacrificing what’s most important — TIME.

Hard work alone doesn’t drive results.

My mom worked extremely hard all her life, yet felt like, “I’m always spinning my wheels.” Sixteen-hour days and all she did, was spin in circles. Most people are like this.

They’re so busy, yet, they never get from point A to point B. And it’s not their fault.

The advice to “work hard” is misleading.

All it is locker room talk to sound rough and tough — “Come on, bro, work harder.” Scroll through Twitter, and you’ll see people tweeting to work hard (pretty sure tweeting isn’t hard work).

It’s wrong because:

Hard work alone doesn’t get you to your destination.

You can work hard on the wrong things.

Hard work is wasteful. It’s a distraction. It’s even procrastination.

I see people working extremely hard on low-value activities. Sure, it might be hard work that doesn’t produce anything meaningful to their goals.

That was me.

I would wake up at 4 am to “get everything done,” but most of the things I did, didn’t drive significant results. They were daily tasks that needed to be done, but it all fell on me.

If you want to optimize your business, stop just working hard.

Work smart on a few high-value activities. Smart is much more important than hard.

When you work hard, you burn out.

When you work smart, you apply all your mental energy to the few things that matter the most because if you focus on everything, you focus on nothing.

Everyone’s priorities differ, but the first step is to recognize what’s most important.

This is the essence of productivity:

Tip 1: List your top 5–10 most important priorities. Now, for each priority, ask yourself, does this dramatically improve my business in some way? Will this positively impact my team or my customers? If it’s a no, cross off the priority.

Tip 2: Choose only three priorities to focus on at any given time. This means that you’ll schedule two blocks of time each day to focus solely on these priorities. If you don’t have the time, you must re-evaluate what’s most important.

Tip 3: Say no, so you can say yes to the things that truly matter. Remind yourself that everything except these priorities is a distraction (unless it’s a huge issue that needs to be resolved).

Here’s a recent example of how this looks for my business:

I needed to hire a new generation sales team under a new leader that’s not me to fuel growth, convert new clients, and add more depth to our team.

Earlier in the year, my quarterly top priority was to “Hire a sales manager to lead a new generation sales team.”

Every week, I’d plan how I’d progress on that priority.

One week, it was “finalizing our hiring documents like our job ad, hiring scorecard, etc. to hand off to our recruiter.”

The following week would be scheduling a certain amount of interviews.

And finally, spending hours ensuring the new sales manager was onboarded and trained correctly.

With this as one of my focuses, I said no to nearly everything else.

Stop just working hard — work hard on smart things.

Build a Business (Or Career), Not a Prison

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Nate Anglin

Nate Anglin

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Small Biz Investor, CEO, & helping others improve their performance, profit, & potential w/out sacrificing what’s most important. www.nateanglin.com/newsletter