In most of my math classes growing up, you’d get partial credit for showing your work. This was a boon for me because I was sometimes prone to careless errors.
Giving credit for the work makes good sense in grade school math: the concepts matter more than getting the arithmetic 100% right.
Along these lines, working hard each and every day—what used to be face time in the office—can also be a way to show that you care, that you’re trying your best.
On the other hand, this can go too far.
As we get grooved into the habit of hard work, we start to measure ourselves in terms of hours spent rather than results achieved.
The hours, once a means to an end, become an end in and of themselves: look how hard I’m working (you say to yourself and others).
The problem is, this can become a negative spiral: we can slip into the bad habit of being less disciplined with how we spend our time, lose sight of the difference between urgent and important tasks, and (ironically, despite all the time we’re spending working) give short shrift to the best things we have to offer.
Letting your work stand there, to speak for itself, is an act of bravery.