Sharpen the Saw is Habit no 7 from Steven Covey’s best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. These activities include physical (healthy eating, exercising, and resting), social/emotional (making social and meaningful connections with others), mental (learning, reading, writing, and teaching), spiritual (spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service).
Sharpen the Saw keeps you fresh and increases your capacity to produce and handle the challenges around you. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew you.
Practice principals typically have much higher rates of occupational burnout than their employees. This is due to the principal’s high emotional and financial commitment to the practice and the clients. For many principals the practice takes over their life. In contrast, most practice employees see a practice for what it is – just a job to be done so they can get on with the important things, like living.