Sharpening the saw is the final habit in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The book itself is an oldey, but goody; it was originally published in 1989, but the lessons within still strongly resonate. My copy is highlighted, dog-earred and not great looking (like the velveteen rabbit- a thing’s not real until it’s been loved that much.)
While I emphatically recommend you read this book (several times), just in case you don’t, here’s a breakdown of habit 7: sharpening the saw. Sharpening the saw represents practicing self-care and renewal. Covey says that when you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, you can perform optimally (or do epic shit as one of my favorite mentors says) And in social media marketing, achieving theseis definitely expected of you (typically, before lunch).
4 ways I sharpen the saw:
I break a sweat (begrudgingly)
For me, this is three times a week at a local gym called Rock City Fitness. For that 45 minutes, all I’m concentrating on is the exercise (okay, okay and the clock and how much water I have left) Afterwards, I feel energized, strong and empowered. Often times, I find that after a training session, I stumble (figuratively, most of the time..) upon a solution or new idea for something I’ve been working at.
I find inspo from my mentors and industry leaders
I love to learn from people who are at the top of their game in my field. I observe what they do, I ask questions, and try to interact with them as much as humanly possible. You’ll find something mind-blowing about Social Media. Some uber important people are super responsive. I squealed with delight after e-mailing Seth Godin and finding that he e-mailed me back…3 minutes later. Try e-mailing someone of a similar stature in a field like Finance and you’d be lucky to get their secretary to respond to an e-mail from a complete stranger.
I force knowledge into my brain…err..I listen to audio books on my commute:
The introduction of Audible into my daily routine has not only changed the way I view my daily time in the car, but by doing this, I find that I am ‘primed’ for a purposeful, productive day. Sometimes I have new ideas to implement and test that are sparked from something I’ve listened to, and some days I’ll have a great example to help me explain a point of discussion in a meeting.
I brush up on current events, scandals and trending hash-tags
I use Feedly daily, with a variety of other go-to sites to understand what’s happening in the world. This provides me with context for trending topics, ideas for content creation and gets me ready to respond to any real-time conversation on social networks.
Some of these practices I have started myself, but most of them I have learned from others I respect and then integrated into my routine. I’d love to take a page out of your book, too.
How do you sharpen your saw?
Written By: Megan Mayle