Sharpen Your Own Saw

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Sharpen Your Own Saw

If you have ever stumbled across the personal change section in your bookstore chances are you have come across the work of Stephen R. Covey and his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The seventh habit Sharpening your saw is a metaphor for becoming the best version of yourself, investing in your skills and leading a balanced life.

How many times have you said these type of statement to yourself?

  • I will exercise tomorrow
  • There has to be a better way but I just don’t have the time to try something new
  • I never find the time to read that journal article even though it comes highly recommended

You are not alone, many of us get so busy with the seemingly urgent tasks (often those imposed on us by others) that we lose sight of the bigger picture and the activities that provide an opportunity for renewal and continuous improvement. If you are looking for a powerful time management concept consider reading Covey’s book, particularly Habit 3 Put first things first. No one will value your time as much as you. Successful people tackle the high payoff actions on their ‘to do’ list first. Being clear on your purpose will make it easier to say no to activities that take your focus from the important things in your work and life.

Below are some ideas for you to start considering what you can do to “Sharpen Your Saw”:

  • Build an hour into your day to focus on your own development – this can be broken into 15 minute intervals if that is easier to manage. Make an appointment with yourself so it’s far more likely to happen.
  • Read widely – stretch yourself to read in areas outside your area of expertise. Don’t just read the pages – engage with the material and challenge what you read and take your own position on the issue.
  • Increase your physical activity and encourage people to have walking meetings. You will be amazed at how the dynamic of a meeting changes when you are walking shoulder to shoulder with someone discussing a new idea or issue.
  • Review and update your CV – not to find a new job but to do a performance review on your own career. Ask yourself some questions:
    • 1. Am I just spending my days doing the routine responsibilities or am I building on the achievements list?
    • 2. What would be my next career step – what qualifications, skills, experience does this require and how will I bridge the gap?
  • Return to study – whether it be your Diploma of Work Health and Safety or Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Going back to study whilst working in the field will give you great perspective. In turn many of these qualifications serve a dual purpose – you win by developing new skills and your organisation benefits when you bring the learning back to your role.

If you are considering Sharpening your Saw, fill in the form below to explore further with one of our helpful Course Advisers who will set you on the path to growth.

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