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Sharpening Your Saw

Posted By: Randy GageAugust 8, 2009

By now you probably heard some corny story about some lumberjack who kept seeing his tree chopping productivity decline because his ax got dull.  If I hear one more speaker tell that story, I’ll probably throttle them.  But there is an important lesson in it.

Taking the time to hone and refine your skills makes you much more productive and efficient.  Because you are better at doing things, it actually takes you less time to do them, and you do them better.  Even accounting for the time you spent on improving your skills, you still get your stuff done quicker.  As an example, just learning to use a computer can save you ten or twenty hours of productive time every week for the rest of your career.

I take time every single day to sharpen my saw.  If you want to do more have more, and become more – you must do the same.  So what will you do today to sharpen your saw?

-RG

19 comments on “Sharpening Your Saw”

  1. Hey Randy,

    Great post! Hmm, I am always on the lookout for different ways to sharpen my saw. I strive to never stop learning, (that's how your brain atrophies you know)!

    Anyway right now I working on growing my spiritualality in ways I had not considered before, that is always a learning process.

    Keep up the good work!

    Luc

    P.S.
    I loved your serman at Unity on the Bay. Now if I could listen to you speak on Sundays, that would be a big motivation to get me to walk into a church again.

    Love ya,
    Lucinda

  2. My physical health is the saw I need to sharpen. Today was my first day of training for the Miami marathon in January.

  3. You heard about the lumberjack who bought one of them new-fangled chainsaws only to return it in a few days because his production was lower than with a handsaw.
    Perplexed, the salesman started the chainsaw to see what the problem might be.
    "What's that noise? exclaimed the lumberjack...

  4. I read a lot, lately spiritual stuff, and keep up on developments in the industries I am interested in.

    I'm TERRIBLE to watch a comedy with because I am constantly commenting on the performances or the writing. I do that b/c I am STUDYING the work.

  5. I secretly would love to see you throttle someone! (kidding) I have never heard the Lumberjack story, but the Starfish on the Beach story makes me react the same way!

    I have just finished Wayne Dyers book, Excuses Be Gone. I found it a fun read with many simple and effect ways to change my mindset on a number of things.

    A few simple shifts in thinking and my days are much more productive, easy and fun. I now exercise everyday without exception (or drama), business conversations have been smooth and enjoyable, and my artistic creations have definately gone up a notch in skill.

    As for today, I started Karen Armstrong's History of God. I figured it was time to add some more intellectual and educational writing into my book pile and see where it takes me.
    Have a great day,
    Jeanne

  6. Hey Jeanne,

    I have to agree with you on the 'throttling' L.O.L!

    I have heard the Lumberjack story a bajillion times but I have never heard of the "starfish on the beach' story. You'll have to enlighten me on that one sometime.

    Anyway, don't you just love Dr. Wayne Dyer? He has helped me make a lot of positive changes in my life. I haven't gotten his latest work yet Excuses be Gone. Boy do I need that one! I'll get it soon. What is the other book you are reading' Karen Armstrong's History of God? Is that a look at the history of religion?
    I'm curious about that because my own spirituality has been in quite the turmoil over the last couple of years.

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks and take care,

    Lucinda

  7. Hey Lucinda-
    Yes, she writes a very comprehensive history of religions, how they grew over time and the human need since the beginning of time for a spiritual element in our lives. Her personal journey is a fascinating one also.

    Come find me on Facebook and we can talk more. I may be able to be a resource to help you at least begin a direction for settling the termoil. My own journey has been long and intensive. I finally found peace with it all a few years ago.

    Peace,
    Jeanne

  8. Dear Randy:
    How do you differentiate between the challenges we manifest so we feel like "The little guy" fighting the forces of evil, and the challenges that are sent our way to help us grow? Or is the whole concept of challenges being a way to improve us another self limiting belief? I think theres a difference between the two..but I wanted to hear your opinion.

  9. Either the sharpen the saw story is overused or it isn't. It doesn't make a difference rather it's verbal or not.

  10. Hi Randy
    Today I sharpened my saw by separating my home meeting into 4 parts and studied your essays on leadership and it made changes in my mind and characters, and it cause my down lines changed and extend the quantity of their down lines. Now I am sure that my down lines change if I change.
    Thanks a lot
    Best regards Randy

  11. Read, Read and Read books that Improve you and apply what you read!!!

    If Read and not apply the concepts is the same as when you look opportunities and don´t take them

    Just do it!!!

    Sergio Carvallo

  12. Hi Randy...in the way to know more about you for my way to model successfule people, can you tell me please some of the actions you make every day to improve your skills? For example what skills are you working on to improve them?

    A big hug for you,

    GERMAN

  13. There are lot of difference between a normal person's work and highly-skilled work. A sharpened saw can easily cut the trees. Similarly a sharpened mind can easily achieve the goal. A sharpened skill can act as a true knowledge.

  14. There are lot of difference between a normal person's work and highly-skilled work. A sharpened saw can easily cut the trees. Similarly a sharpened mind can easily achieve the goal. A sharpened skill can act as a true knowledge.

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  • 19 comments on “Sharpening Your Saw”

    1. Hey Randy,

      Great post! Hmm, I am always on the lookout for different ways to sharpen my saw. I strive to never stop learning, (that's how your brain atrophies you know)!

      Anyway right now I working on growing my spiritualality in ways I had not considered before, that is always a learning process.

      Keep up the good work!

      Luc

      P.S.
      I loved your serman at Unity on the Bay. Now if I could listen to you speak on Sundays, that would be a big motivation to get me to walk into a church again.

      Love ya,
      Lucinda

    2. My physical health is the saw I need to sharpen. Today was my first day of training for the Miami marathon in January.

    3. You heard about the lumberjack who bought one of them new-fangled chainsaws only to return it in a few days because his production was lower than with a handsaw.
      Perplexed, the salesman started the chainsaw to see what the problem might be.
      "What's that noise? exclaimed the lumberjack...

    4. I read a lot, lately spiritual stuff, and keep up on developments in the industries I am interested in.

      I'm TERRIBLE to watch a comedy with because I am constantly commenting on the performances or the writing. I do that b/c I am STUDYING the work.

    5. I secretly would love to see you throttle someone! (kidding) I have never heard the Lumberjack story, but the Starfish on the Beach story makes me react the same way!

      I have just finished Wayne Dyers book, Excuses Be Gone. I found it a fun read with many simple and effect ways to change my mindset on a number of things.

      A few simple shifts in thinking and my days are much more productive, easy and fun. I now exercise everyday without exception (or drama), business conversations have been smooth and enjoyable, and my artistic creations have definately gone up a notch in skill.

      As for today, I started Karen Armstrong's History of God. I figured it was time to add some more intellectual and educational writing into my book pile and see where it takes me.
      Have a great day,
      Jeanne

    6. Hey Jeanne,

      I have to agree with you on the 'throttling' L.O.L!

      I have heard the Lumberjack story a bajillion times but I have never heard of the "starfish on the beach' story. You'll have to enlighten me on that one sometime.

      Anyway, don't you just love Dr. Wayne Dyer? He has helped me make a lot of positive changes in my life. I haven't gotten his latest work yet Excuses be Gone. Boy do I need that one! I'll get it soon. What is the other book you are reading' Karen Armstrong's History of God? Is that a look at the history of religion?
      I'm curious about that because my own spirituality has been in quite the turmoil over the last couple of years.

      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Thanks and take care,

      Lucinda

    7. Hey Lucinda-
      Yes, she writes a very comprehensive history of religions, how they grew over time and the human need since the beginning of time for a spiritual element in our lives. Her personal journey is a fascinating one also.

      Come find me on Facebook and we can talk more. I may be able to be a resource to help you at least begin a direction for settling the termoil. My own journey has been long and intensive. I finally found peace with it all a few years ago.

      Peace,
      Jeanne

    8. Dear Randy:
      How do you differentiate between the challenges we manifest so we feel like "The little guy" fighting the forces of evil, and the challenges that are sent our way to help us grow? Or is the whole concept of challenges being a way to improve us another self limiting belief? I think theres a difference between the two..but I wanted to hear your opinion.

    9. Either the sharpen the saw story is overused or it isn't. It doesn't make a difference rather it's verbal or not.

    10. Hi Randy
      Today I sharpened my saw by separating my home meeting into 4 parts and studied your essays on leadership and it made changes in my mind and characters, and it cause my down lines changed and extend the quantity of their down lines. Now I am sure that my down lines change if I change.
      Thanks a lot
      Best regards Randy

    11. Read, Read and Read books that Improve you and apply what you read!!!

      If Read and not apply the concepts is the same as when you look opportunities and don´t take them

      Just do it!!!

      Sergio Carvallo

    12. Hi Randy...in the way to know more about you for my way to model successfule people, can you tell me please some of the actions you make every day to improve your skills? For example what skills are you working on to improve them?

      A big hug for you,

      GERMAN

    13. There are lot of difference between a normal person's work and highly-skilled work. A sharpened saw can easily cut the trees. Similarly a sharpened mind can easily achieve the goal. A sharpened skill can act as a true knowledge.

    14. There are lot of difference between a normal person's work and highly-skilled work. A sharpened saw can easily cut the trees. Similarly a sharpened mind can easily achieve the goal. A sharpened skill can act as a true knowledge.

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