Habit 7-Sharpen The SawStephen Covey’s 7th habit is Sharpen The Saw. Doing so means engaging carefully in selected recreational activities that offer you the opportunity for self-renewal so that you can regain your “production capability”. Time off, time away and regular breaks during the day are essential to your increased level of productivity and time for said activities are just as important to include on your calendar as are the tasks that get you to the end of the road. When I help clients plan, the first thing that we get into their calendar is their time off. The long weekends, “me time” and vacations come first.

Working day in and day out does not make you productive nor does it make you successful. It actually diminishes it. Taking time off and away from business actually helps to fuel you forward and is part of taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t run your business or take care of the things or people you’re charged with taking care of. It’s like getting on an airplane and having the cabin pressure cause the oxygen masks fall down in front of all the passengers. If you do as the flight attendant instructed prior to take off, you put your mask on first and you’re able to assist the child or person next to you who needs help. If you try to help them first, you may end up in a situation where you don’t end up with your mask on. You have to take care of yourself first so that you can tend to the things around you that you’re responsible for. Stepping back is part of sharpening the saw.