Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was published over twenty-five years ago. Even today it remains a best seller. It’s one of the most helpful books I’ve read and one that I refer to often. All seven habits are important for success in life and in business but it’s the seventh habit, “Sharpen the Saw”, that I’ve found myself calling on more and more.
What I like about Steven Covey is that he teaches in a way that is so easy to understand and applyIt’s called “Sharpen the Saw” for a reason. A dull saw blade would significantly slow down the progress of even the most skilled builder. Effort would not equal results. Seems elementary but it’s a concept that we tend to ignore.
You would do well to work all seven habits into your life; or at least a few of them, but ignore #7 and you could undermine all of the good you’ve done practicing the others. Lack of “sharpening the saw” in your life probably looks something like this:
- Not enough sleep.
- Not eating right.
- Lack of exercise.
- Little social life.
- No hobbies or fun activities.
- Headaches, backaches, generally poor health.
I know, I know. Who has the time and energy when there is so much work and so many pressures to deal with every day?! But here’s the thing. Taking time to rest more, eat healthier, exercise, and have some fun nurtures your body, mind and spirit. If you did that, how much more could you get done and how much better would you feel doing it????
It’s common to get engrossed in the demands of life and work. I’m as guilty as the next person. The list of what needs to get done is long and never ending. You’re thinking you should keep at it just to get it done. You fear that if you stop, even for a minute, you will fall further behind. The reality is that taking a break and going back at it fresh will increase your efficiency and effectiveness and also improve the quality of your end result. There’s a significant difference between getting it done and getting it done right.
So I’m asking you to go for a walk, take a breather, a time out, or a nap. Whatever you need to refresh and sharpen YOUR saw–GO DO IT NOW!