Working Hard Vs Working Smart


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Working Hard Vs Working Smart

I was on my way to a workshop. It was a Saturday at 9AM when I was picked up from my location. I booked a Grab ride that day.

The driver was an elderly man in his 60s and had been a long-time cab driver before he switch to Grab. He told me that I was his 20th ride for the day. At 9am, that’s pretty surprising! So I inquired how he managed to get 20 rides so early.

He told me his story:

Every morning, he wakes up at 3:30am. He eats breakfast and starts driving at 4:30am. He said, “You’ll be surprised how many passengers need a ride around that time”.  He continued, by mid-day, he’s already met his daily quota ride. He’ll go home and rest for awhile and give a few more rides in the afternoon before calling it a day by 6PM. That’s how he works, every single day. Because he works extra, he earns his normal pay and gets bonus from the company for doing an exceptional job. Sometimes, he said, he’d visit his grandchildren and walk his dog because it’s his “me time”.

Here is a 60-year old man, making a living driving other people around town. And while he can practically do it at whatever time he wants, he doesn’t! Guess what, he earns way more than an average salary-man.

He chooses to work early for a few reasons:

  • Early morning rides are more expensive (typically from 12am-6am)
  • He has less competition during “off” times
  • He gets to go home by lunch-time and rest
  • Extra hours in the afternoon gives him the flexibility to do other things

The epitome of working smart!

productivity, working smart, work smart


How many of us have been pushing that snooze button when it gets off? I know, because I used to be guilty of that too! I never knew the power of going to sleep early because I, like many of us, am a night owl. I felt like I was more productive in the evening than in the morning.

But the truth was-

“I wasn’t more productive in the evening. I had just built a routine around staying up too late, and being groggy in the morning.”

It was hard for me to get out of bed, and it would take me hours to be able to do anything productive.

So I learned to work smarter. I started going to sleep early until it was a routine. I found myself able to get out of bed in the morning (at the FIRST alarm sound!) ready to start the day. I was able to balance my productivity throughout the day, rather than only at night. I wasn’t doing more work, I was just doing it in a better way. The temporary pain of the early morning alarm bell made me a happier, more productive person.

We can all learn from this Grab driver.

Let’s look closely at the benefits he’s getting from waking up and driving early.

  1. He was showing up during the times most drivers won’t
  2. Early drive = expensive fares
  3. Less traffic = more rides

If you casually just look at it, you’ll say he’s a hardworking man. But to me, he’s a smart one!

Think of areas in your life that you’re meeting with resistance, and paying for it in missed opportunities.

Then, ask yourself, how could you work smarter?

comments +

  1. Stephanie T says:

    Thank you, Mye. This is good advice, especially for us so-called night owls.

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