Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sharpening the Saw

Yesterday, as I mentioned in my previous post, I got two or less hours of sleep before leading our 3rd Tuesday Truth At Work group that morning. I arrived back to my office around 12:30 and tried to catch up on some stuff that came up while I was away the prior few days. I really wanted to get caught up.

However, it seemed I just couldn't get much done. I felt like I was running in quicksand and getting nowhere fast. So, I decided to take a nap.

I then went to a production my son was involved in at school last night and came home and immediately went back to bed and had a great night's sleep.

Today, I had another Truth At Work group to lead and I am now in my office making some nice headway on my tasks.

Stephen Covey's seventh habit in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Sharpen the Saw. He says that we must rest or refresh in order to be most effective. This is obviously a Biblical principle as well (see the 10 commandments). In the book, he tells the following story:

He's walking through the woods and he hears a sawing noise. He investigates and finds a guy sweating profusely as he tries to cut down a tree. He says to him, "What are you doing?"

The man replies, "I'm cutting down this tree, you dummy!"

Stephen says, "No, I mean, it looks like you have been working hard. How long have you been at this?"

"Two hours."

"Why don't you take some time to sharpen the saw? It will make things go much faster and easier."

"I don't have time to do that--I've got to get this tree cut down!"

Yesterday afternoon when I was trying to get my work done, I had the same attitude as that tree cutter. I could have worked for hours without getting much done. What I really needed was to sharpen my saw which in my case was getting some sleep.

How sharp is your saw?

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 20:11a

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