Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Welcome to the conclusion of the science (or not) in the 7 habits of highly effective people.

Habit 7 involves sharpening the saw.  In this case the saw is you.  You will only effectively cut that metaphorical tree if you are sharp as … well … a saw.

Covey’s opening parable drives this home – we meet a hard working chap furiously cutting a tree with a blunt saw.  A passer-by suggests he needs to sharpen his saw.  He says (irritably I suspect) “I haven’t got time” and returns to his furious sawing.  This is laughable in its absurdity – who would do this?  Now look closer where are you or someone in your life: working long hours; running from task-to-task; grabbing food on the run; skipping exercising; or drinking more than you should to unwind?

Time to stop the absurdity and sharpen the saw. Consider sharpening yourself in these four domains:

  1. Physical – sharpen by good eating, exercise and all that jazz
  2. Social – sharpen by connecting to others
  3. Mental – reading, writing, learning
  4. Spiritual – meditation, nature bathing (yes its a thing), prayer, art … what ever is your thing.

I can boldly say the science in this is there as I did my PhD in wellbeing and it covered most of this.  Email me for a copy if you want all the gory details (and an insomnia cure).

It is also a bit of a no brainer to say that taking time to sharpen your saw is important to achieving all the other habits.

So Habit 7 has come good, not a moment too soon.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.  It has been a tricky one.  However it has also started me on a bigger journey, that will be tricker by far, but perhaps the most rewarding yet.

Yours as ever,

The Wellbeing at Work Dr (almost).

References links and all that jazz

https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/habit-7.html

This is part of a larger series on Stephen Covers 7 Habits, being:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/wood-tool-saw-9280/

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