Sharpen Your Skills to Boost Your Productivity

Before you enter the forest to cut wood, you would be wise to take the time to sharpen your saw; trying to cut wood with a dull saw blade is ineffective.

By taking the time to sharpen your saw, you’re equipped to cut more wood (as in more productive). The time you spend sharpening your saw, you win back when it’s time to cut wood.

If refusing to invest time in sharpening their saw, your unwise friends enter the forest before you, although they may get a head start on you while you’re sharpening yours, you’ll catch up to them and pass them in no time.

Sharpening your skills is a productivity booster. It’s a results enhancer. For example, the more writers sharpen their writing skills, the easier it becomes for them to produce their work.

Masters are people who have mastered a set of skills in a given field. And once they have mastered those skills, they can produce profusely. For example, the great masters of music can play their instrument “forever” and produce exceptional pieces of music nonstop.

I grew up watching Micheal Jordan dominating the basketball court. He is a great example of someone who worked hard at sharpening his skills. Jordan went from being cut from his high-school basketball team to one of the best players of all times. From his high-school days to his professional days, Jordan’s skill level improved by leaps and bounds. All the sharpening he did, paid off big time!

To increase your productivity, you must sharpen your skills. The sharper your skills, the better you can produce.

Identify the Skills You Need

What skills must you master to be successful in your field? Each field has its set of skills that are essential for success. You must identify what these are, otherwise, you’re at a serious disadvantage, and your productivity will suffer. Most likely, you already know what these skills are. But if you don’t, take the time to figure this out. You may need to consult colleagues, mentors, and others who are further down the path.

Increase Your Knowledge of These Skills

To efficiently work at sharpening a skill, you must be familiar with the concepts related to that skill. For instance, to effectively work on your writing skills, you’re better off being familiar with the concepts surrounding good writing.

To increase your knowledge of a skill, you can read books, blogs, and other literary material on that skill; you can watch related training videos; you can speak with people who have already mastered that skill; you can attend live training sessions, etc.

Work on Your Skills

Accumulating knowledge on a skill is good but not enough. You must do the work. You must practice, practice, practice. If you want to sharpen your writing skills, you must write. If you want to sharpen your speaking skills, you must speak. If you want to sharpen your leadership skills, you must lead. If you want to sharpen your piano skills, you must sit at the piano and practice your scales and arpeggios and other technical skills. There is no way around this. Do the work.

When it comes to sharpening your skills, consistency is the key. You can’t stop for long periods of time and expect your skills to become (and remain) sharp. When you stop for a long period, you become rusty. Every day, invest a few minute on sharpening your skills. Make this a priority.

And, yes, it requires sacrifice; it demands dedication and perspiration. But when your skill is sharp, you’ll cut a lot of wood.