Habit 7 — Sharpen the Saw

The single most important investment we can make in our lives is our investment in ourselves.

Covey tells the following story: “You are walking in the woods one day and come across a lumberjack. You see that he is absolutely exhausted and ask how long he’s been working, and he tells you over five hours. At this point you tell him to take a break and also sharpen his saw, to which he responds, “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw—I’m too busy sawing!”

Habit 7 is about taking time to sharpen the saw and is without a doubt the most important habit of all, as it makes all the other habits possible. It’s about the quality of you, your canvas. You are your greatest tool, and habit 7 is about how sharp you keep that tool in order to execute all the other habits flawlessly and with ease. It’s about your physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional health. To be truly effective, you need to take time in these four areas and realize that it’s the most important investment of time that you will ever make.

Actions to take