Strategy and Planning

Purpose Driven Planning #7: Sharpen The Saw Habit

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Take care of the goose that lays the golden eggs.” Stephen Covey

Coming straight from the book “7 habits of highly effective people” is the thing I want share with you today, and that is the 7th habit: “Sharpen the saw!” There’s a story of a guy who was chopping trees but he had a rough time with it. A stranger walks by and asks him: “How’s it going?”, “It’s going pretty rough”, said the wood chopper. The stranger suggested to the wood chopper that he takes a break and sharpens his saw, to which the wood chopper said: “I don’t have time for that, I’m busy.”

I think we all have a habit of doing this, getting so caught up in the work that we forget how to use our time most effectively.

And although I realized, as time went by and I had more and more hobbies, chores, skills I needed to master, that proper, strategic rest is more than necessary for me to achieve my goals, I just
didn’t know how to do it because as far as I knew everywhere I look at people who are “resting” it’s usually through watching tv-shows, movies, playing video games, which is definitely not the proper rest you need and the most effective one if you want to maximize productivity and be purpose driven.

From the book I learned that there are 4 main segments of your life you want to recuperate yourself in every single day.

They are: The physical aspect, social/emotional aspect, mental aspect and spiritual aspect.

From now on you will look at rejuvenating in these 4 aspects as an investment, not as wasting your time.

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Because you most definitely will be much more productive and happier at the same time if you take care of yourself vs. not taking care of yourself.

Let’s start with the physical aspect that branches into cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility.

Your cardiovascular health is honed through activities such as jogging, fast pace walking, bike riding, swimming etc.

From the strength aspect you want to involve yourself in bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, weighted exercises in the gym such as squats, deadlifts, overhead presses etc. And when it comes to flexibility you will gain it through proper stretching before and after your main workouts, so before it will be a dynamic stretching session and after a static one.

You should be spending at least half an hour a day working out and taking care of the physical aspect of the overall “sharpening the saw” habit.

When it comes to the spiritual aspect it is very different for each individual. Renewing yourself in this segment will be specific to your beliefs and values. What I do is, I made a habit, that quite honestly I should be doing more at this time of my life, to think about the 3 things I’m grateful for in the morning, send prayers to 3 close people of mine, to contribute and go beyond myself through my Youtube channel and through reading some inspiring literature or watching something that is firmly connected to my deep inner values.

Going over your purpose driven principles is also a way for you to do it. Now for you it might be meditation or something else but just be aware of the spiritual aspect of your life as mumbo jumbo as it sounds.

Renewing yourself in the mental aspect consists of reading quality literature, listening to a seminar, audio-book, that will constantly expand your mind. What it also consists of is planning and
organizing and writing a diary for yourself, of your thoughts, which I honestly don’t do but I heard it works wonders for some people.

You should be spending an hour a day each and every single day renewing yourself in the first three aspects in whichever way you see most fit.

The final aspect is the social/emotional saw sharpening. Before, I thought I could do everything on my own and at times I thought that social interactions or spending time with family is just a waste of time and it’s getting me further away from my goals, and it’s true that some people are spending way too much time on just wasting time with friends, you don’t want to be the other extreme either, because we are social animals and isolating yourself in order to achieve your goals is not the most effective way, trust me.

So renew yourself in this category as well, by spending quality time with friends and family, the amount of time you’ll spend varies from person to person as we all have different goals and system of values.

About the Author

My name is Stefan Tosic, there’s a slim chance you came across one of my videos on Youtube and possibly know who I am, but for those who don’t, I am an 8 years lifetime natural bodybuilder, fitness and self-development Youtuber, college student of IT and business, amateur kick-boxer, guitar player…The list goes on. Not saying this to brag but to showcase how I’ve managed to juggle multiple activities and roles at a very young age and have decent success in all fields of my life while still feeling driven more than ever to head out for more. As far as my role in Perficient, I am an associate technical consultant.

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