Sharpen Your Blade

Does it seem like the routine things are getting harder to keep up with?

I learned a valuable lesson from my table saw recently. I was doing a project for Timi that involved sawing a stack of fairly small boards in half. But it wasn’t’ going well. What should have been quick easy work was going way to slow and taking far too much effort.

Then it hit me. “I wonder if my blade is dull?”

After installing a sharp blade, I turned on the saw and was stunned at how easily it ripped a board in half. Amazing!

There’s a life lesson in this story. Sometimes life get’s harder because we aren’t taking time to “sharpen the saw” so to speak. That “sharpening” happens in our time with God, family, and in our reading.

Here are 4 things I’m doing to “sharpen my saw” this year. I’m focusing on my mental capacity, productivity, and relational IQ in this post.

1. Listening through the Bible. I mentioned this in my previous post. I do this as part of my morning routine in conjunction with my exercise. There is almost always a nugget of truth or insight that speaks to me as I listen each day. Either way, I’m placing the Word in my mind.

2. Listening to audio books. I am an auditory learner and I have three boys so it’s a rare moment for me to sit down and read a physical book that isn’t a bedtime story or worship book. But I love getting audio books from the library on my phone. Once again, I can learn and be active at the same time. I’ll be mixing it up here with marriage and relationship oriented books, business titles, and other themes of interest.

3. Podcasts. Listening to podcasts from my phone is a great way to maximize my time when I’m driving, working with my hands, or doing the dishes. I am mainly focusing my listening time on podcasts that give me useful information for growing our ministry online. Here are my favorite four if you’re interested.

This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt – focused on leadership, business, and online platform building.

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn – all things online business

Entrepreneur On Fire with John Lee Dumas – yep, it’s all about business and being an entrepreneur.

Build Your Tribe with Chalene Johnson – More great material dealing with how business works online.

Obviously, I don’t agree with or adopt everything that is discussed on these podcasts but I always learn. We always need to use discretion as we engage with other people’s ideas and methods.

4. Exercising regularly. Yes, this is a “saw sharpening” activity! Regular vigorous exercise, especially if it’s done outside, gives multiple boosts to your brain capacity. It increases oxygen intake, releases hormones that boost your mood, and raises your immunity – which is a long range productivity boost. I have learned that the best way for me to beat writers’ block is to leave my desk and go for a brisk walk. This practice has often resulted in immediate breakthroughs. (Like I race back to my computer to capture the thought that came while I was walking!)

The beginning of a new year is a great time to sharpen YOUR saw. Is there ONE of these practices that you would like to add to your practice? Implement it for 40 days and see what difference it makes for you.

What’s Your plan? If you choose to adopt one of these habits, share which one and why in the comment section below.

Keep your saw sharp!

-Richie

photo credit: Sara LaRosa via photopin cc

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  1. John Lee Dumas
    5 years ago

    WOW, great article and thank you for the kind mention…I am honored!


    • Richie
      5 years ago

      Thanks John – really appreciate your content.