Has anyone ever told you, YOU are your own greatest asset? If not, that’s what we’re here to tell you. As a leader or an employee, as a parent or significant other, you owe it to yourself and those around you to take care of yourself. Too often (and we’re all guilty of it) we put everyone else’s needs first and that causes us to lose sight of ourselves. Whether you are a team leader or just leading yourself, the question we are focusing on this month is, what are you doing to sharpen your saw?
Sharpening your saw, as Stephen Covey would say, is synonymous with self-care. So what does that look like in your day to day? Here are a few ideas that can help you focus on improving YOU:
1. Your Health - Chances are some of you are already working on exercise, whether that’s hard core working out, biking or simply walking, if you’re moving more today than you did yesterday – that’s a success! Another way to sharpen your saw is to eat healthier, get enough sleep and give yourself time for relaxation, your body will thank you.
2. Your Mind – We’ve already talked about eating healthier, so let’s talk about food for your brain. Reading a book or several books can do more than strengthen your brain and educate you on various topics, reading can also build your vocabulary, increase empathy and reduce stress. Think of reading as not only an escape for you but for your brain. Writing or journaling is also another way to express yourself and did you know writing improves your thinking process and contributes to the development of your critical thinking skills.
3. Your Heart – Have you ever walked away from lunch with a friend with a full stomach and a full heart? Sometimes life is too serious, we have too many pressures and simply taking time to laugh with a friend, our family, as well as our co-workers can completely reenergize us. Focus on your relationships.
4. Your Soul – Did you hear the birds singing this morning? Have you noticed the vibrant colors of the season all around you? Who did you smile at today? When was the last time you blasted your favorite song on the way to work? Maybe you are an artist, a woodworker or you simply like to color with your kids. Being intentional about noticing the things around you and taking time to be present in the moment not only helps you connect to yourself and others it assures you that you’re not missing out.
"We must never be too busy to take time to sharpen the saw." - Stephen Covey
Sharpening your saw can help you generate growth, relieve stress, increase focus and create change in both your personal and professional life. We aren’t suggesting you make a checklist and do everything stated above, what we are saying is make time for yourself, even if it’s ten minutes a day, it’s time well spent investing in YOU.