Many of us have read the books by Stephen Covey, "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and "The 8th Habit." Those books first introduced to me the concept of "sharpening the saw" and why that is essential. If we don't take care of ourselves, if we don't replenish ourselves, we can't help others.
One way I "sharpen my saw" is by scheduling quarterly off-site review and planning days. This is when I take a look at my business and personal plan for the past quarter of the year, see where I'm on track, ahead or behind, and then set my course for the upcoming quarter. This time of year I take 2 days; one to assess the current year, and one to set forth my plans for the next, and the steps I need to take to make it happen.
This is what I've been doing for the past two days, and I can already feel the benefit of my alone time where I have been analyzing, planning, thinking, and reading with no interruptions.
While doing my planning, I make sure to take time for me, too. Like: yoga in the sunshine on the deck of the quaint old B&B where I'm staying, once the morning fog has burned off;
Like: hiking in nearby Point Reyes, where the coastal air and sun have a mystical quality all their own and the forest is quiet and still.
In a moment I'll close up the computer; get some happy-hour snacks ready and wine opened, to share with my husband when he arrives by the West Marin Stagecoach (cute name, right?) He hopped on a bus 1 block from our condo in San Francisco, transfers in San Rafael, and arrives at 6:05PM, dropped off across the road from my B&B! He comes this second night, after my planning is done. We'll have dinner together in nearby Pt. Reyes Station, and then we'll hike most of tomorrow before returning to our "regular" lives in San Francisco.
My saw is sharp; how about yours?