Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sharpen Your Saw

While working out in Mennville I learned several important lessons about how important it is to “sharpen the saw” as leadership guru Stephen Covey says. Sharpening the saw can really only be described by Covey's word-picture:

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.

"What are you doing?" you ask.

"Can't you see?" comes the impatient reply. "I'm sawing down this tree."

"You look exhausted!" you exclaim. "How long have you been at it?"

"Over five hours," he returns, "and I'm beat! This is hard work."

"Well why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?" you inquire. "I'm sure it would go a lot faster."

"I don't have time to sharpen the saw," the man says emphatically. "I'm too busy sawing!"

Sharpening the saw is about renewing yourself - physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Self-Improvement (or Self Growth) is one of my favorite themes. What can you do to sharpen your saw? Do you need to start exercising? Do you need to start challenging your mind with new ideas? Do you need to spend time serving or connecting with God? Do you need to choose to courageously sit with someone and explore some of your emotional issues? Or do you need to set aside time for friends or family? Whatever it is, I encourage you – sharpen your saw. Investing in your growth is not a bonus in life – it’s a necessity!


Jay Boaz said...

Hope you have a good time "sharpening your saw" the next couple of days!

(Had I said that at the Olive Garden I think everyone would have thought I was making a dirty joke).

Mark said...

Thanks Jay, I will!

dannielo said...

If you would like to implement some of Stephen Covey's best ideas, you can use this web aplication:

You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (in each of your life's categories), projects and tasks, in an intuitive interface. It has a Checklists section, for the repetitive activities you have to do, important but not urgent (Quadrant II, for example your routines/habits). Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time, activities and for the weekly review.

Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

And it's available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it wherever you are.