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Working smarter is most of the time better as working harder

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 415 times Debate No: 81103
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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In the current society the most common idea is that if you want to achieve more, you have to work harder. Taking on more work, working overtime, sleep less than the recommended 8 hours a night, etc. However, in this debate I'm going to argue there is in more than 50% of the cases a better way to achieve more: work smarter. This includes things like coming up with an effective plan before you start working, preparing, using tools, delegating tasks, only focusing on the most important things, etc.

I as pro am going to argue that if you have to choose between working harder and working smarter, working smarter is in more than 50% of the cases more effective than working harder while con will argue working harder is in more than 50% of the cases more effective than working smarter.

Pro has the burden of proof. The participants have 72 hours to write your post and the character limit is 8.000.


Working harder: trying to get more out of the resources you have while still using them in the same way you always did

Working smarter: trying to get more out of the resources you have by using them in a different way


1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. My opponent accepts all definitions
7. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. Violation of any of these rules merits a loss


Round 1: acceptance (no arguments)
Round 2: presenting arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: rebuttals, a few small arguments (optional) (no defenses just yet)
Round 4: defenses (no new arguments)

I’d like to thank con in advance for participating in this debate and I hope he will work hard on this debate.



Round 1
I except your debate. I hope you have fun to debate with me... 😀
Good luck 😆

Just a few good luck quotes, take a look at the first one especially
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Nyqii for accepting my challenge.
In this round I’m going to argue why working smarter is most of the time better than working harder.

Argument 1: history

The most basic need of every human is food. But food doesn’t grow on trees (1). You have to work on farms to get your food. So let’s look at what percentage of the population works in the agriculture sector:


As the graph shows, about 65% of the American workforce worked in the agriculture in 1840. But through the years this dropped to about 1% in 2000. So what caused this drop? In 1840 the farmers had simple tools. They still plowed with those old-fashioned plows that have to get pulled by animals. But through the years the farmers started to use better tools like tractors, sprinklers and greenhouses. Tools like that helped farmers to produce more food with the same amount of effort. Therefore fewer people had to work in the agricultural sector.

This is an example of people working smarter. After all, the farmers started to realize the old resources they had (the plows that got pulled by animals) just weren’t good enough anymore. They started to invent better tools (like tractors).

There are also many examples in other sectors. Like how we switched from paper letters to e-mails, which get delivered faster and are cheaper to deliver.

Argument 2: the 80/20 principle

The Pareto-principle, AKA the 80/20 principle, states that roughly 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes (3). It’s hard to grasp at first, so here are some examples:

In 1989 the richest 20% of the population earned 82.70% of the income (3)
80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers (3)
Fixing the 20% most frequently reported bugs eliminates 80% of the errors and crashes in a given system (3)
20% of the patients use 80% of the health care resources (3)

And now a detailed example: A firm with the goal of making as much profit as possible was operation in 15 different segments. It analyzed all 15 segments and concluded that 6 segment represented 26.3% of the sales & 82.9% of the profitability, 6 segments represented 57% of the sales & 45.5% of the profitability and the remaining 3 segments represented 16.7% of the sales & -31.4% of the profits (they made a loss). The management decided to focus more & raise sales effort on the 6 segments with a high profitability, focus less & raised prices on the 6 segments with a medium profitability and decided to sell two of the segments where the firm was making a loss. The third segments where the firm was making a loss was still growing, so the management decided to make sure it becomes profitable as fast as possible. It was quite a reorganization, but in the end the firm managed to get more profit out of the same resources it had (4).

So, how does all of this connect to working smarter? You only have a finite amount of resources and it’s possible to get more out of those resources by focusing them only on the best uses. There’s no need to make more hours. You can get more done with the same resources after you found out which 20% of the inputs lead to 80% of the outputs and get more of those valuable inputs. Like how the firm in the detailed example decided to focus more on the segments that gave 82.9% of the profits and reduced focus on the other segments.

These two arguments back up my claim that working smarter is most of the time better than working harder. I now hand the debate over to con.


1) Wait, it does. But you probably get what I’m trying to say
4) Example taken from



nyqii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend, because the account of my opponent became inactive.


nyqii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Extend again.


nyqii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
And how does one distinguish between the two exactly? Can't working 'smart' be a part of working 'hard'?

If no one accepts, I may do myself.
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