This has to be a joke right? Why is some random guy telling me how to work hard?
Its simple. I have been known to work hard from time to time.
No, I’m not Larry Bird, or Michael Jordan. Their work ethic is exemplary to everyone.
But I know what it takes to get things done.
At any rate that brings me to the picture. Basketball requires work.
Depending on how hard you work, the better at it you will be.
I have just revisited this pastime by incorporating it into my basketball routine. I have been shooting around for a few months now.
My skills have always been alright, but the more I practice, I keep getting better.
Today, I worked out for about an hour, shooting 3s. Other guys came in and left. But I stayed there.
Hopefully I can keep this up.
And I realized something as I kept practicing. And I believe this to be true of just about anything that requires work.
There is actual work and work that looks like work, but is not really work
Wow. That’s a long heading. But seriously.
If you want to get better at something, you have to dig deep and keep going.
There is no half way, it is full commitment. That is true with anything you do, not just basketball.
I wanted to stop shooting 3s. It started getting boring. Staying those extra 15-20 minutes might help if I want to beat somebody in a one-on-one later, or whatever. Who knows?
People who hear this might say, well, so what? You only practiced an hour anyway.
True. I am not all star status quite yet.
This is not just about basketball. It is about life, work, family, hobbies, anything…
The point is it is actual work. You are working more than what is required to improve.
That is work.
So, what about the work that looks like work, but is not really work?
Good point. Let’s talk about that.
iwork. that’s what that kind of work is called.
That’s a good word to use because it has come about within the last 2 years of the internet.
Here’s what it is. You are somewhere where you don’t want to be, and you are doing something that you think is productive, but it actually isn’t.
That’s iWork. You thought it was going to be more technical than that, no?
It’s kind of a conundrum because it takes a little effort to tell the one from the other.
“But I thought going to work, and doing what my job says, and going the extra mile is hard work”. It’s really not. You might be playing the corporate game, but that is not hard work.
Going the extra mile, in most case is just doing more iWork.
What about all those time, I stayed late, did more stuff, and executed my game plan?
Still not hard work.
Working hard is actual work. Staying late to look good, or being at functions to be seen is not hard work either.
These are all essential things for corporations, but it does not yet qualify as hard work.
Why iWork is not hard work
You were probably on board with me when I said that just showing up for work is not hard work. But certainly staying late, working extra hours, and so forth, is hard work. It is not for these reasons:
- Working extra hours is something created by corporations to make it look like work is getting done
- More stuff might be getting done, but it’s not anything that really matters
- People replace being at work with actual work
And staying late at work is just one example of iWork. Here are some others:
- Doing things that don’t have an immediate outcome
- Doing things that are repeated that don’t effect anything
- Doing things for the sake of doing them
That last point is really the best example of iWork. And it comes in many forms.
At a normal job you will have to do iWork every day. But do not confuse it with hard work, or you may not ever become a hard worker.
Obviously iWork is better than no work.
But hard work is the transformative kind that enables you to do what you love, or like, better.
Sometimes perceived iWork is real work; like staying late for something you are really trying to get better at, or work at. In that case, the work itself should be what that person cares about, and not the fact he stayed late.
So, how do you focus on working hard instead of iWork?
Just get involved with something. Find something that really matters to you. This can be charity organizations, ministries, family, or a hobby that might grow into a business.
For me, there are a number things that I am passionate about that help you become a hard worker.
This is a great starting point. Just start doing it. Pick out goals, and go from there.
If you haven’t worked out, do it consistently for 10 years. See how much you change, and you will see a clear representation of what hard work is.
Read anything that interests you. Read articles and books, etc. This will reinforce a few things:
- Your ability to concentrate on something for long periods of time.
- It will strengthen your mind, which is the source of working hard.
- And your thoughts are clear after reading to start your next thing.
And this brings me to my next point…
Clear your mind
Your mind is full of things that prevent you from hard work.
Here is a few things besides reading that help you do this:
- sit in silence
And these are all things that will ultimately help you work hard. Who knew?
Identify your iWork
We all do it. There are areas of our life where it looks like work, but it is not really work.
Where are they.
- Write them down
- Brainstorm alternatives
- Execute a game plan
You can turn your game around with changing the areas of iWork with actual work. Find something you are passionate about to either incorporate with it to make it work, or find something on the side to make you a hard worker.
The trick is getting involved. Learn how to get involved with things. The more involved you get, the more you naturally become a hard worker.
Remember to try exercising, clearing your mind, and seeing areas where you do iWork. From there, try to find ways to be the guy who is practicing to be better, and stays longer than everyone else for a good reason.