• Alana Stern

Sharpen Your Saw - Sit back and Boost your Performance!


GETTING STUFF DONE

You know what to do but you're not doing what you know. How would you rate your self-management - the way you direct and organize yourself; how you coordinate your activities, in order to achieve your goals and to simply GET STUFF DONE!?

If you're not 100% satisfied with how you manage yourself,

here’s a great paradox for you: STOPPING to rest, refuel or recharge is actually crucial to effectiveness. In Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is basically the Bible of self-management, he crowns his 7th habit as “Sharpening the Saw”.

SHARPEN THE SAW? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

Covey tells the story of a man who was walking through a forest when he came across a frustrated lumberjack.

The lumberjack was trying to cut down a tree with a saw, and was swearing and cursing as he labored in vain.

“What’s the problem?” The man asked.

“My saw’s blunt and won’t cut the tree properly.” The lumberjack responded.

“Why don’t you just sharpen it?”


“Because then I would have to stop sawing.” Said the lumberjack.

“But if you sharpened your saw, you could cut more efficiently and effectively than before.”

“But I don’t have time to stop!” The lumberjack retorted, getting more frustrated.

The man shook his head and kept on walking, leaving the lumberjack to his pointless frustration.

What's the message here? Taking time out to "sharpen your saw"is part and parcel of self management. By doing these refueling activities, you are actually able to be more effective – and get more stuff done.

HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR SAW

Here’s how the Franklin-Covey company sees it:

“Sharpen the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have...you. “


Covey divides our lives into 4 main areas: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual. Optimum “saw sharpening” means making sure we renew ourselves in each of these areas. Here are some examples from the website:

Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting

Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others

Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching

Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service

HOW SHARP IS YOUR SAW?


Wishing you all an EFFECTIVE and RENEWED MONTH.



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