If you’ve read Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you’re probably familiar with ‘sharpening the saw’.
If not, the idea is a simple and powerful one: you need time out for refreshment and rejuvenation (sharpening your ‘saw’ – yourself!) or you become stale and ineffective.
There are two aspects to this idea.
The first is making time and space in your life for saw-sharpening. Many saw-sharpening plans die right here.
But the second, often overlooked, aspect of recharging your batteries can be the more important one. It’s finding activities that refresh you.
Why might it be more important? Because once you decide to start an activity, hobby or project, it finds a way into your life.
There’s a softball match on Saturday afternoon, a writing group on Friday nights, a project that takes on a life of its own, a holiday booked. It becomes part of life and you just turn up for it.
Why not organize some saw-sharpening for yourself. Sign yourself up, and let the space appear.
Think about what you like, what you’ve always wanted to try, what makes you excited or envious when you see someone else doing it. Following are some ideas.
What are the things you’ve always wanted to do or try? Choose anything that sounds like fun to you.
Ideas: ikebana, art galleries, sushi making, kickboxing, ballroom dancing, scuba diving.
Hobbies & Interests
Most of us explore so few of the things that intrigue us – what a shame! Start developing those forgotten desires.
Ideas: psychology, film, art history, religion, politics, quantum physics, aircraft modelling, bonsai, puzzles, knitting.
Creative expression can be a way to recharge and escape daily stresses. Who knows – you might even uncover hidden talents.
Ideas: journal-writing, song-writing, musical instruments, pottery, watercolors, calligraphy, dance, novel–writing.
Interested in long-term or self-directed activities? Note down resources, contacts, supplies, tasks and steps to help you stay organized.
Ideas: creating a family tree, organizing photos, writing a book.
Holidays & travel
Where would you like to visit – whether short sojourn or longer adventure? Note information, places to stay, activities, local friends and contacts.
Ideas: places of cultural interest, group tours, overseas writing retreats, adventure holidays.
Reading for pleasure
Remember the delight of a good story, beautiful language or sheer escapism? Make a list of titles you want to read. See an interesting review or hear a great recommendation? Add it to your list.
Ideas: novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, biographies, memoirs.
Don’t let the wrong film spoil movie night. Start a list and keep track of the good ones from recommendations and reviews.
Ideas: films outside your usual genre, foreign films, animated features, classics.
Add a little regular and irregular fun and recreation to your life, and you’ll enjoy all kinds of benefits. Just don’t cut yourself. 🙂