Basically a word for someone who works hard and works smart?

  • Would you say that somebody is 'efficient but not diligent?' - a worker could not be efficient without working hard: they can be efficient in the short term, but lack of diligence leads to inefficiency in the overall performance. Hence in the context of work, 'diligence' would be implied within the meaning of 'efficiency' (but not the reverse: efficiency is not necessarily implied within diligence, because somebody can be diligent yet inefficient, due to certain limitations) - so efficient seems a good enough term for your purpose; you may not really need a single word to describe the two. May 23, 2017 at 6:42
  • I realized this like eleven minutes ago; thanks anyways! I spent the last six minutes looking up how to mark my question as answered. EDIT: I mean, it was more like I realized that diligence would be irrelevant if it were inefficient. I actually think you can be efficient without being diligent; for example, making a simple tool to take care of the work requires a lot less diligence and is much more efficient.
    – Veqen
    May 23, 2017 at 6:50
  • ( _ requires a lot less diligence _ ) In fact diligence relates not to the volume of work but the 'willingness to work hard.' So if somebody is not diligent then they are basically lazy, and I have found such persons quite inefficient in the long term, even if they dazzle with a bit of clever efficiency from time to time! In the long run such a person would be found inefficient. Note 2: you cannot mark your question as answered till somebody answers it; you got the understanding you were looking for, but you can check here from time to time to see the other responses from our learned members! May 23, 2017 at 7:02
  • I'm aware. Now I want to know the word for someone who works efficiently and works relevantly. E.g. you can be really efficient at playing video games, and you can be really inefficient at solving poverty.
    – Veqen
    May 23, 2017 at 7:08
  • Efficiency is not expected in unrelated work domains. It is usually applied to specific areas of work, unless you use it to describe somebody in general as 'an efficient person' which means he/she is efficient at all type of tasks. But people are usually expected to be efficient mainly at their own work. Ed is an inefficient typist but an efficient cook: no problem, if his job is cooking! So just like diligence, relevance is also implied in efficiency - somebody who is efficient at something irrelevant, but inefficient in the relevant work area, is simply inefficient for our purposes! May 23, 2017 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


"word for someone who works hard and works smart"



Those work for me!


I'd say if a person is working hard and is also efficient in doing his work, then he must be working like a well-oiled-machine or quite possibly working like a robot. Although, robot could be misunderstood as emotionless and a negative quality so I'd avoid using that one.

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