As a working mother of two, I will admit many days I’m close to exhaustion and rarely have a minute for myself. With bosses, co-workers, and customers needing my attention during the day and my little at-home bosses needing my attention after work, it’s easy to get lost in the needs of those around you, thereby eliminating time for the things you need personally and professionally.
Thank goodness for people like the late Steven Covey, who did a great job speaking/writing about prioritization and the importance of ‘Sharpening your Saw’ to people like me who need to hear that lesson. His concept of making sure to take time for yourself and develop/indulge in the things you value is so simple and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given. It’s rooted in knowing if you took a newly purchased saw out into the woods to cut down a tree, the first tree you cut down may take you 30 minutes. If you immediately move on to the next tree, with a slightly duller blade, the same process may take you 50 minutes. And, if you continue to move to the next tree without sharpening your blade in-between, the combination of fatigue and an overused blade will lead to much less effectiveness with every new tree. We can liken that to our lives, both personally and professionally, where our ‘trees’ are the tasks on our ever-growing to-do list. If we continue to ignore the things we need for our development, how much value will we be adding to those around us? We will be as good of a boss, co-worker, service professional, parent, significant other, family member, etc. if we don’t take time to ‘re-boot’ every now and then? As a believer and user of this advice, I can attest to the amazing impact it can have in your life. Sometimes the smallest thing, like watching a short webinar over lunch or taking a few extra minutes for a personal hobby in the evening, can provide just enough charge to reset our attention and allow us to accomplish at a higher level. For those of you who have nodded your head while reading this message, knowing you occasionally lose sight of those things you need for yourself, give it a try! Just beware of our inclination to say ‘I don’t have time, ’as I would contend you ‘don’t have time not to!’
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