“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV)

Take time to sharpen your saw. One of Solomon’s habits long before Covey’s seven. My mother’s father, my Papaw, knew this habit. Before the invention of weed-eaters, he used a large hand scythe to clear the creek bank. He always kept a sharpening stone in his pocket and would pause from time to time to keep an edge on his blade. He also had a mesmerizing method to his motion, using his strength to lift the long blade and then allow its weight to drop and fall through the weeds. I never mastered this, hacking away at the brush, often with a dull blade, I would spend my young man’s energy in under an hour, while Papaw could continue all day even in his 70s. Papaw would say, “Son, you’re just beating yourself to death. Let the weight of the blade do the work. And stop to sharpen it once in a while.” He had the wisdom that I lacked. You can actually get more done by taking a break to sharpen your saw. Slow down to speed up. Retreat to advance. Take a sabbath one day out of seven to sharpen your edge.