Bear with me – I’ve a short fable to share… all will be revealed!
Once upon a time, there were two woodcutters named Keir and Boris, always at loggerheads over who chopped more wood, they decided to hold a competition to determine the winner. The rules were simple—whoever produces the most wood in a day wins.
So the next day morning, both of them went to the forest and started chopping away as fast as they were able. After an hour Keir suddenly stopped. When Boris realised that there was no chopping sound from his opponent’s side, he thought: “Ah Ha! Tired already!”, and continued to cut down his trees as fast as he could.
After quarter of an hour, Boris heard his opponent chopping again. Both of them carried on together until Boris, feeling weary heard Kier stop again. Sensing victory, Boris chopped on, smiling.
And so it was the whole day. On the hour, Keir stopped work, while Boris worked on. At the end of the day, Boris was convinced he was the winner.
To Boris’s incredulity, Keir had clearly cut down more wood. He was baffled – how could this have happened? “You stopped each hour, how could you cut down more wood” demanded Boris.
The answer? “Well, it’s really simple. When I stopped work, I was sharpening my axe.”
So how sharp is YOUR axe?
You’ve probably read the Stephen Covey definition that to “Sharpen Your Saw (or Axe)” means increasing your personal productivity – having a balanced approach to renew yourself in the four key elements of life: Physical, Social, Mental, and Spiritual.
- Physical: Good eating, good sleeping, and good exercising.
- Social/Emotional: A good social life. Meaningful connections with others.
- Mental: Learning something new, reading (books are your mentors), and writing.
- Spiritual: Expanding your spiritual self by reflection and spending time relaxing in nature.
Feeling good doesn’t just happen. You need to take the necessary time to create growth and change in your life. Good sleep leads to increased productivity, happiness, and smarter decision-making (Ariana Huffington). Warren Buffet credits his great money decisions to his voracious reading habit (80% of his time is spent on reading). The world’s best car maker (in terms of product quality), Toyota, invests time and money into their employees, developing a continuous improvement culture—a true model for a learning organisation.
Remember that every day is a brand new opportunity to recharge, renew, and refine yourself. Devote some moments into sharpening your axe instead of chopping away aimlessly…start working smarter instead of longer. Ask yourself… how sharp is YOUR axe?
And if you need some help, give us a call!