Sharpen the Saw
This may not be the typical blog post you see from DCG. You’ll often find us discussing software trends, challenges, and best practices. These conversations and musings hopefully enable you to produce high quality software, but there’s another important factor in that process – you. Yes, you are an important part of the culture in your workplace, and the work you do necessitates that you’re up to the challenge.
This leads me to today’s blog post, which touches on habit seven from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Sharpen the saw.
I recall the first time I read Covey’s book and the impact the idea of sharpening the saw had on me. It’s such a simple idea. In essence, it means taking time out from the daily grind to work on the most important tool in your toolbox, yourself, so you can be the best you can be when you return to your work.
Covey suggested that we focus on four areas as we sharpen the saw:
- Physical: Eating properly, exercising, and getting proper rest
- Emotional: Nurturing social relationships
- Mental: Investing in curiosity and a lifetime learning habit
- Spiritual: Spending time in prayer or meditation
Like any other habit one is trying to cultivate, sharpening the saw begins with making a commitment to focus on the habit and consistently repeating the activity until it becomes ingrained. I think of it as making lifestyle changes, activities that just become integral parts of how you conduct your life, rather than something you must just cross off of your list.
So as the summer wraps up, I encourage everyone to spend some time each day exercising, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk; spend time with family and friends; read for pleasure, but also try to learn something new. And finally, nurture your spirit – 10 minutes of daily prayer or meditation can change your outlook.
If we do these things on a regular basis the saw will stay sharp and we’ll be able to maximize the productivity, quality, and timeliness of our work.
Anthony Manno, III
Vice President, Outsourced Services