Lumberjacks, Ax Heads, and Creating Time

Are you struggling to find the time you need to begin or renew a workout routine? A lumberjack can teach you about creating the time to fit fitness and other energizing activities into your already busy life.

The lumberjack may have so much work to do, a forest of trees which needs to be cleared, and a deadline by which time the work must be done. But if he focuses only on how much work there is to do, what will happen? His blade dulls each time it strikes a tree trunk, requiring him to swing his ax with greater force in order to produce the same result. The forest looms around him. He swings harder and harder, but the trees fall with less and less frequency.


Many coaching clients I’ve spoken with tell me that a similar phenomenon is taking place in their lives. Have you ever felt like this?

What advice would you give to the overwhelmed and exhausted lumberjack? The obvious answer is: “Hey Jack! Stop once in a while and sharpen your ax.” Wonderful! His muscles rest while his blade is sharpened AND when he goes back to work, the ratio of results to effort is maximized. The key that unlocks the door to getting more done with less time and effort is the same for you: Stay Sharp. Ironically, taking breaks from the “work” of life and pursuing meaningful sharpening activities will help you to be more effective and get more done in the long run.

What activities leave you feeling sharper, refreshed, and energized?


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