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Thinking more about Stephen Covey and his 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, the weekend gives a chance to work on Habit 7, Sharpening the Saw, which might be the most important habit since it’s pure “Quadrant 2”.

Covey sets the stage this way.

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!”

Maybe that reminds you of the business cliche, “too busy to plan”.

So, Covey is saying,  the way to make your work easier is to improve the quality of the tools you use.  He’s not just suggesting the guy take a break and then go back to sawing with the same dull saw.  He says improve the tool and then the work will be easier.

Covey suggests that working in these four areas will make the work of life easier.

  • Physical
    Taking care of your body, staying healthy, focused on vitality
  • Spiritual
    This is at the core, your life’s direction, your inner journey
  • Mental
    Taking care of your brain and your acuity
  • Social / emotional
    Investing in relationships and interdependence

So what better time than this weekend to take a walk, do a little exercise, meditate or go to your church/synagogue (remember, one of the positives of organized religion is the sense of community as well as the spiritual), read a book, spend time with friends?

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