sharpen the sawOver the past couple of years I have been fortunate to run a corporate training programme based around “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey.

I wanted to share with you Habit 7 – “Sharpen the Saw”.  Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.  I often ask how my trainees are doing, checking in to see if they are getting the balance right between building their business and having some “downtime” so I thought that this might help some of you!

The Seventh Habit is all about having a balanced programme for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual to help create a sustainable, long-term and effective lifestyle.  Covey stressed that we should be feeding all of these areas in order to remain balanced and effective. Have a look through these suggestions and see if there is an area you have been neglecting – what could you introduce to “fill the gap”?

Here are some examples of activities to get you thinking – many of the activities could fall into different categories – do what is right for you:

runner-with-water-cs4560020The Physical.
The benefit to your body when you eat well, when you exercise when you get the right amount of time to relax and to sleep! For example: Maintain a good diet, go to the gym, take a class, go for a run, walk the dog, work in the garden, sit in the garden when the sun is shining for 10 minutes to top up your vitamin D.


Social / Emotional
The benefit to you of making social and meaningful connections with other people. For example: Plan a get together with old friends, email/Skype/phone someone you haven’t seen for ages, arrange a family party.


The importance of learning – it might be a new hobby or just building on skills that you already have?  For example: Learn a new business skill, go to a night class, do a suduko or crossword, play Words with Friends, read a book that makes you think.

Spiritualsharpen the saw
The importance of being in touch with your inner self.  To have that time for stillness – perhaps you find strength running, from Pilates or yoga? Perhaps you find strength from religion or meditation. Perhaps just walking down to the shops or sitting in the sun is enough to give you the connection with the world around you so that you can set your intention for the day ahead.


Stephen R Covey wrote: “Feeling good doesn’t just happen.  Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. You can pamper yourself mentally and spiritually. Or you can go through life oblivious to your well-being. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalize yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy because your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.

Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal–a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill.”

Have a think; I would be delighted to share more

Sharpen the Saw
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