Oct 05

Up for some inspiration and stress management? Sharpen your axe!


Work life balance and stress management.

We hear and talk about it all the time, and almost all of us want it…. but sometimes I believe that the mere thought of scheduling in time to manage stress and live out work life balance can almost ADD to the stress!

And fair enought – but what are the consequences on your business performance, your relationships and your health if you don't make balance important.

So we are talking about this again today…. but in a different format!

Sometimes it's just nice to read a story. You may well have heard this one, but even if you know it I encourage you to take two minutes to read it through.

The Woodcutter

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it.

The salary was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees "Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!"

Very motivated by the boss' words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but could bring 15 trees only.

The third day he tried even harder, but could bring 10 trees only.

Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. "I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought.

He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.

"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…"


A simple but clear message.

Serious about work life balance, business performance and stress relief?

Then YOU have to make it happen! You can talk about these things all you like, but if you really want to commit to work life balance, managing your stress and to improving your business performance then you need to take care of your number one resource… yourself (and your team if you have one)!

Even if you are just starting out in small business, or if your business isn't yet at the stage you would like it to be at, establish your patterns as you mean them to continue. If you don't take time out now to sharpen your axe, it will get harder and harder to make it happen.

Improve your business performance and get some work life balance.

I invite you to ask yourself the following questions (and share your thoughts below if you like).

  • Do you honestly make time to “sharpen your axe”?

  • What do you do that really helps you to re energise and focus?

  • What are the consequences for you (both at work and at home) if you don't take this time?

  • How can you commit to taking time to sharpen your axe on a regular basis?

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  • Kris

    Very timely reminder. We all think we are giving our businesses more when we give them more time, but in fact by giving ourselves less we have less to offer our businesses 🙂

    • You are so right Kris… the challenge I find is remembering to make it happen!

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