Sharpen The Saw

Sharpen the Saw – an idea put forward by Stephen Covey – his last chapter in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

What does that mean? - Where does it come from?

It relates to 2 men cutting down a tree with a large saw, and struggling and the bystander suggesting they stop, and in the old days you sharpened a saw by filing the teeth before continuing to work again and that would make you more productive.

The key word is more productive. Increasing productivity comes from the application of knowledge / ideas / technology.

In the past 12-months a lot has happened in my life.

  • Parents died
  • Sold the house I have lived in for the last 23 years
  • Got divorced

I took the culmination of these changes as a chance to change my life in a number of ways.

Upped my game regarding the websites I build.

I am physically fitter than I was when I was 40, and weigh less.

Met new people, joined new clubs / organisations, such as the PSA – Public Speaking Association a chance to hear accomplished speakers once per month.

Toastmasters in Knowle and That led to a chance comment by one of the speakers who mentioned Ted Talks which I had not come across before. From there I have watched many fascinating videos. One which caught my eye and resonated with me was this one by who talks about what causes relationships to break-up.

Done things which I have wanted to do but never did, for example climbed Ingleborough in the Winter, climbed Whernside at the beginning of May.

My message is we benefit from reinventing ourselves and keep pushing forward learning new skills applying those skills, stretching our capabilities, not resting on our laurels.

The benefit of searching out and joining new organisations / clubs – meeting new people is, it exposes us to new ideas, ways of doing things, which can help generate new ways of thinking, opportunities, and solving problems.

My challenge to you is to examine your routine / way of working and see what you can do to re-invent yourself, to get out of your comfort zone.

Charles Willcock