You may already know Stephen Coveys 7th habit of highly effective people ‘Sharpen the Saw’.
It’s the habit that keeps us working at our best and most effective. It’s the habit that keeps us WELL. If you spend 11 months of the year using a saw to cut down trees – what should you do in the 12th month? Continue using the now blunt and worn blades OR stop and take some time to sharpen the saw so it can renew its effectiveness? Of course that’s what you should do – what you need to do.
When is the best time to do that – JUNE !
Most of us hit the ground running in January and keep going until Easter, where we get a little breather and a pit-stop. That’s not enough though. Constant use of all the tools we use for living mean that they get worn down over time – blunt if you like. You may feel it – we even say things like “ I’m just not as sharp as I normally am” , “ I can’t seem to get through the same amount of work load as I used to”, “I’m not as productive as I normally am” – these are all signs of being worn out.
In June – stop and take time to sharpen the saw – the saw being YOU – yes, you are the most important tool in your toolbox.
When you think about effective wellness you have to consider 4 key dimensions; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
What can I do to renew my physical health?
Think about it as the ability to get more oxygen into your body – Choose 3 things you can do this week that will increase your oxygen intake, slow paced, medium paced and fast paced.
What can I do to renew my mental health?
Think about learning something new – maybe mindfulness or assertiveness or managing change. Choose a book to read or a programme to sign up for. I can recommend ‘ The Curse of Lovely’ it’s a great book for learning how to say no to things that are zapping your energy.
What can I do to renew my emotional health?
Think about identifying all the emotions that help put you in and sustain you in a positive mood. Did you know we function with over 200 emotions on a daily basis – make note of at least 10 positive ones
What can I do to renew my spiritual health?
What do you do to have meaningful experiences? – Choose to practice doing things that make you feel good, that align your purpose and your values. Choose to share your knowledge and wisdom with others – see how it makes you feel. Do a random act of kindness – just because you can.
Taking time to have a break and retune enables us to come back to our tasks even stronger and more effective. It facilitates us being well.
- Take time to have a break – if you can’t get away on holidays – do things that help you rest, renew and recharge at home
- Reflect on the 4 dimensions of wellness – what are you doing in each area and why ? Slow down – take stock and do things that are meaningful and rewarding
- Remember to do things you like doing – make the phone call to your friend you have been putting off until you have time or download some new music to your ipod to listen to on your walks
- Get some vitamin D – put on your sun cream and get out doors. Pay attention to what you see growing – notice the colours and what’s blooming
Stop sawing for a time and start seeing what needs sharpening.
Plan some sharpening time – continuous improvement and development delivers the best results.
Retune in June
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