ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: SMART WORK
Happy new year to all the readers of this segment. I salute you all, may this year bring us the best of the bests of God’s blessings, may our lives express the beauty of God every day and may the works of our hands propser.
A wise man said you never recover from a good start. The winner of a relay race is greatly a function of the person that carried the ‘first leg’. Why wait to the middle of the year to set goals and decide how the year would be when we can decide now and get better results.
It is on this note that I would be setting the pace for this segment by discussing the subject of ‘smart work’.
If everyone worked as smart as hard, they would yield better productivity. Smart work plus hard work is what yields achievement.
This is applicable not only in academics but in every phase of life’s pursuit. More often there are more hard workers than smart workers.
Sure you have an idea of what today’s discussion entails from the title. Having discussed the various ways we can work hard towards excellence in previous blog posts its expedient we discuss how we can work smart on our various academic projects.
You have been equipped with several information from ‘Academics with Wunmi’ segment, now you need to know what do with this information. Working hard is adequate but not sufficient; you must work smart to get results. Hard-work without smart work can be exhausting.
A wise saying goes, before you can work smart, you must work hard. This is because “effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference”.
Working hard (which I consider as being effective) is only half of the equation, the other half of the equation is working smart (which I consider as being efficient). More often we embrace just one which is hard work but I wonder why we don’t embrace both. If we want to be successful, we shouldn’t be satisfied to simply work smarter/harder.
The most successful people work hard, but they also work exceptionally smart. They maintain the same level of tenacity and determination while learning ways to do things more efficiently.
When you’ve exhausted your energy on working hard, try working smarter because you never get to a point you can’t work smarter. More importantly, embrace both!
HOW CAN I WORK SMART?
Ways of working smart are not limited to the points shared below:
- Prioritize: To prioritize is to rank in order of importance. To prioritize is to pause, absorb and understand what is required of you. Prioritizing helps you identify what must be done and in what order it should be done. Prioritizing as a principle means doing first things first. A step to prioritizing is doing a to-do list. If you want to be more efficient you must learn to prioritize. This takes me to the next point;
- Plan: Taking prioritizing further is to plan. Planning helps you set Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Realistic.Time-bound goals. I did a post on planning previously, you might want to check that post to shed more light on planning your academic projects towards excellence.
- Time management: I was reading a research report recently, one of the most encountered challenges faced by students is the issue of time management. Time management for me is doing the right thing at the right time. Once your priorities are set right, good time management flows easily.
- Strategize- to strategize is to put a structure in place that’s commensurate with your academic (life) goals. Engaging effective reading techniques for instance is an act of strategizing, refer to my post on reading techniques. Ability to know how to read what is what guarantees maximum results. Most especially in research, it would be un-wise to do an intensive reading of every data you use (the time is not there). There are times to scan, skim, etc this helps you manage your time well. Self-sincerity is key to effective strategizing. No one knows your goals like you thus no one can know the best strategy other than you.
- Stop aiming at perfection the first instance. I stand to be corrected here; Mike Murdock said trying to be perfect can be exhausting. Your aim at first attempt should be to generate, there is sense in every non-sense, all that’s required is to trim the ‘non’ off. Understand that every result requires process. Enjoy the process phase in your academic journey. This is no excuse for failure tho!
- Choose your circle of association carefully and ask for help when required. Remember, no man is an island.
- Be resourceful, a smart worker is not a smart worker without being resourceful. Be resourceful with money, skills, talents, internet data, etc.
WHY MUST I WORK SMART?
- Working smart makes your goals more reachable.
- Engaging smart-work helps save time.
- It makes ‘hard-work’ less frustrating and exhausting.
- Smart-work identifies milestones covered in your work hence, keeping you on track.
- Smart work helps aids multitasking hence save times.
Although, hard work and smart work alone are not sufficient for success but both are essential, and it’s time to stop treating them as if they were mutually exclusive. As professionals (student or working class) we must aim to work smarter, harder, longer and better.
Have a testimony filled 2016. Please suggest on areas you would like me to discuss in future posts.
The Education segment of the blog is one where you can find resources as a student/prospective one to help you succeed academically. Periodic posts would be published ranging from advice to questions and resources, all of which readily available to help you. I wish you all the best in your academic endeavours- Tosin Alabi( editor)