According to Stephen Covey, sharpening the saw is what we do to renew ourselves – our resources, energy and health. Many years ago when I had a Covey planner, there was a place to note what had been done each day to sharpen the saw. Every day! Do you do something to renew yourself each and every day? No? Me either.
Perhaps it will be enough to engage in personal renewal once a week at first, then expand as these new exercises become habit. Today let’s focus on a few ideas to sharpen our proverbial saws.
Here we go….
- Physical renewal: If exercise still seems like something that you simply can’t make time for, begin with taking 10,000 steps a day. Pedometers are inexpensive and easy to conceal. Instead of sitting while you take a call, pace. While waiting for your kid to finish music lessons, walk. Take an oath to move instead of sit.
- Mental Renewal
- For those readers of faith, prayer can be a time for mental and spiritual renewal. Meditation and yoga can provide the same benefits. In Creating a Charmed Life, Victoria Moran advocates “taking ten” each day, stating that “the surest way to access [your] energy… is through silence, through taking a specified amount of time each day for mediation, prayer, journal writing, or inspirational reading.” Later she continues, “Even if your busyness tells you that you can’t afford to take quiet time, know that you can’t afford not to.”
- In addition to prayer and meditation, reading revives us mentally as well. Finish up those books you started. Go grab or download that book that’s been on your reading list for far too long. Subscribe to a magazine that has to do with your industry or business. Read them.
- Spiritual Renewal: As you’ve seen here more than once before, the authors of Creating Your Best Life tell us that “researchers who studied adult men in Michigan found that those who volunteered their time, money, and energy felt happier than—and also outlived—their less altruistic peers.” Give of your time and you receive benefits beyond what you would ever imagine.
Maybe you truly can’t find time to sharpen your saw every day. But every day that you can will be a day that you will be more effective in all that you do.