in Business, Creativity, Motivation, Music, Philosophy, Psychology

Work Hard & Work Smart, Play Hard & Play Smart

“If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it.”

–Edmund Hillary

It’s weird how we take certain expressions for granted. You hear someone say they “work hard”. Then you go “Yeah, tell me about it!”. But really, what the hell does that mean?

To be honest I hadn’t really thought about what it means to me until a former math tutor asked that question.

So, here are a couple of thoughts that emerged.

When we “work hard” we persist. We show “grit” even when things are difficult, tedious, monotonous, boring and we don’t get immediate feedback or rewards. What we need to do is to find a love for the process.

People often use the expression “work hard, play hard”. So naturally we should ask: “Then, what does ‘play hard’ mean?”

To “play hard” means we go all in on our leisure activities. Usually things that demand a lot physical, mental and/or emotional investment. These are the things we love to do and leave us feeling exhausted but in a good way.

Tired Puppies

Totes Adorbs.

You know when people say “don’t work hard, work smart”? Let’s dig into that!

By working smart we ourselves questions like “How can I make this task more efficient?”. While what we’re doing gets the job done and we might even enjoy the process, we want to create a better, faster or smoother way of doing it.

Now, what we’re missing here and don’t often hear about is how to “play smart”. To be honest, I don’t even know what that means just yet. But, I’m just going to make some shit up and see if it sticks, alright?

What I think it might be is using our leisure activities to help solve problems we’re working on and/or learning a new skill you we use in our work. Does that make sense?

This kind of leaks into the concept of “incubation” when it comes to problem solving and creativity. That basically means we put ourselves into situations and experiences that take our attention away from the problem long enough for a divergent idea to come along. This usually leads to a more unique solution.

But let’s make a distinction here. If we want to use “play smart” as a tool then maybe we could have it not be a distraction from the problem.

How would we do that?

Lego Bricks

Bricks will be shat.

We could use Lego, it can be a kind of multipurpose tool for us.

Let’s say we’re working on a song. We could use the blocks to represent different instruments and build a Lego version of it. Cool, that’ll end up looking completely weird & awkward and it could also help unlock some creative ideas for arrangements or something.

Now, are we playing smart? I think we just might be.

There’s probably a million objects we could use for different purposes that we generally don’t think about.

What are some ways you play smart?

Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.

Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!

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