top of page
  • Writer's pictureHelen Frewin

Sharpen the Saw

I haven’t got time for self-care.

I haven’t got time for self-improvement.

Have you heard or read the story from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on sharpening the saw?

There is a woodcutter who is spending a very long time cutting trees. There is so much to do, and his saw is blunt, so each tree takes more and more time. The suggestion is offered to him, “why not sharpen the saw?” And he says he has no time to do it.

It’s a vicious cycle we can easily fall into, I’m as guilty of that as the next person… No I haven’t got time to organise my workspace better so that I can think straight! No I haven’t got time to change my email settings so that the volume coming in is easier to manage!

And perhaps the biggest classic of all – I don’t have time to delegate.

Apparently, years before Covey used the woodcutter story in his book, Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe.”

What if now was a good time to challenge this belief that we don’t have time? To recognise that taking the time could save us time. To choose to invest the time where it may serve you best?

What could you do this week that would make an improvement to your wellbeing, and most likely therefore your productivity?

I’m taking time this week to look at my options for professional development. How about you?

All the best,



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page