This week begins with a apology for being one day late! No excuse, merely a very good reason. Our relocation has all come together quickly this week and we’ve been dealing with exchange of contracts and removal firms as a priority, in readiness for the big move west on Friday 30th November 2012 🙂
So all that aside, the final part of our review of Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People brings us to Habit 7:
“Sharpen the Saw”
This means that its critical that you take time, every now and again but definitely on a regular basis, to sharpen your physical, spiritual, mental, social and emotional dimensions. It’s about refreshing these skills, spending time on yourself to focus on what’s important to you and your professional endeavours to become a better and more effective professional person.
It’s well known that a healthy body means a healthy attitude and mind. Spending just 30 minutes a day exercising, getting off that bus a stop or two early, will preserve and enhance your capacity to work and adapt. Equally, it will give you that precious time to practice Habit 6 perhaps – synergising knotty issues of the day/week before, or even Habit 3 – Putting First things First (Prioritising).
A spiritual dimension rests at the very route of your core values system. It is very related to Habit 2 – Beginning with the end in mind. Keeping focus on dreams, doing something every single week towards that end goal will inspire and uplift you. The key in this respect is to make sure it is being refreshed frequently. Immersion in something highly creative is my own method – off I toddle with my camera around my neck and I achieve all sorts of clarity in things I’ve struggled with for some time!
Formal education teaches the process of mental development. Learn something new, create a personal discipline in something which will stimulate the mind. It’s well knows that learning something new can allow you to think differently about something you’ve been struggling with for a while.
Social & Emotional
This is centred in the principles discussed during Habits 4, 5 and 6. The skills required to renew the social and the emotional dimensions of our lives require communication and creative co-operation. Refresh those networking skills, whether that be via LinkedIn or the more traditional route in face to face business events. Reconnect with those you haven’t spoken to for far too long, purposefully refresh those connections and in the process, make new ones. Expand your network in a purposeful manner and welcome the new opportunities and views that process will produce.
Everything you do to “sharpen your saw” will have a positive impact in all other dimensions, they are highly interrelated. A daily habit of spending one hour on yourself – whenever suits you – is the key to the development of the 7 Habits. Learn it, commit to it and then do it! Gandhi once said:
“they cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them” so reclaim what is yours and invest in it – because you are worth it!