Before understanding the WAY to work hard, you need to understand what is hard work.
Hard work is pushing/working harder than your normal limits. Your normal limits are said to be 40% of your actual capabilities. To push those limits, you need motivation.
Motivation is directly related to a hormone called dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
Most of us consume hours of social media, and content on streaming platforms daily
<-- The time I spend on Instagram in a day on average.
We have no problem spending hours on social media, other forms of entertainment etc., while 30 minutes of studying or working out are draining.
The activities provide us with short-term gratification and quick bursts of dopamine. While studying and working out(actual productive activities), gives us delayed gratification and dopamine but are rewarding in the long term.
So how do we "Trick ourselves" into doing hard things?
We need to re-train our brain to chase long-term gratification, we can do that by cutting down on the activities that provide us quick bursts of dopamine.
There are 3 levels to this.
Cutting down on Screen time, by cutting down on screen time, we reduce the sources of digital dopamine through social media and online shopping apps. Each like, comment, message that excites us has to be stopped.
Cutting down on Screen time (level 1) and junk food.
When we eat junk foods the reward circuits within our brains activate and release the chemical dopamine. Our brains can become overwhelmed by the pleasure from these rewarding foods.
A Dopamine Fast.
This is the most effective option, for 24 hours, you have to completely distance yourself from each and every thing that brings you pleasure. Food, gadgets, socializing. You need to starve your brain of the feel-good hormone. The next day, your brain will crave dopamine so much, that it will be willing to do anything, ANYTHING. Then you can feed it with your good habits, and productive work etc.
In conclusion, when you will take your current (bad) source of dopamine(feeling good), your brain will find other (hopefully good) sources of the same.