You’ve heard the saying “work hard, play hard”. The idea is that you work hard and then have enough time for the fun stuff. What the saying should be is “work smart, play hard”. Working hard doesn’t necessarily make you productive and get more done in less time. Working smart does.

And one of the best ways to work smart is to get into the flow. You know what I’m talking about. When you start to work on a project and all the pieces just seem to fall into place. You’re making more progress than you thought possible and the work goes almost effortlessly.

Getting into the flow helps you in quite a few different ways when it comes to getting your work done. Not only will you get done faster, you’ll also work smarter. You will only be able to get into the flow once you’ve looked your project over and made smart decisions about it.

Flow only happens when all the hard decisions are made and you’re convinced without a shadow of a doubt that this is the course of action. There’s no room for second guessing and hesitation when you’re in the flow.

And that’s a good thing. It forces you to look at everything you do before you put the hard (or smart) work into it. That helps you get rid of busy work and less effective strategies and tactics. Instead you’re focusing on what’s going to make a difference.

That, in addition to being able to work at high speed when you’re in the flow, allows you to work smart and make a lot of progress in a short amount of time. No need to put in hours upon hours at your desk. Instead, you’re in, you’re out and you’re getting your work done.

Which of course leaves plenty of time and money for play. And if you want to play hard, you’re going to need both. Fun toys and experiences don’t come cheap. Working hard and smart and in the flow will help you get plenty of both. And there will be time leftover for some well-earned rest.

If you’re ready to work smart and play hard, make the decisions first, deploy the 80/20 rule (20% of your efforts will be responsible for 80% of your gains), and then get into the flow to get things done.

It’s not always easy, but well worth it when you are out playing and having fun with your family and friends.