Sharpen the Saw

sharpen the sawWe run about all over the place like headless chooks, madly trying to get things done, work, kids, food-shop, tidy-up, wash-up, eating, work-out, sleep! The problem is, in this ‘conveninet age,’ it’s getting worse. Down time is limited. And as soon as we get five minutes, we feel like we need to fill it up with … stuff.

‘Sharpening the Saw’ would have to be one of my favourite Stephen Covey habits.

It means looking after yourself.

Not just eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep, but also taking time-out for ourselves. Many of us function with the idea that there’s not enough TIME and so resting is often the first thing we eliminate.

But at the end of day, is it making us more effective?

Here’s the story Covey used to get the message across:
A man sees a woodcutter furiously trying to cut down a tree with an obviously dull saw. So he asks, “Hey, why don’t you stop for a minute and sharpen your saw? Your work would go much faster!”.
The woodcutter replies, “Stop and sharpen my saw? I don’t have time for that! Look at all these trees I have to cut down!”

I used to have an amazing collegue. Unfortunately for me, he escaped to work at the Green School in Bali.

He taught me a philosophy which has stuck with me.

Look at what you HAVE to do. Then … do half.

Sounds crazy, right? But what about the other half?

When I started to live by this, I found myself full of energy, I had a zest for life, and I worked smarter. I only aimed to get half done, but somehow, even though I’d had plenty of rest, spent time with my family, caught up with friends and walked along the beach … magically, all was well.


All was wonderful.

Just a little food for thought.


HMC on Goodreads CLICK HERE


2 thoughts on “Sharpen the Saw

  1. What kind of saw are we talking about here?
    I think you’re wrong. The thing to do is not to sharpen the saw; it’s to throw that saw away and buy an even bigger and already sharp saw. That’s how we do things these days, right? Right?

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