Fundraising can be a grueling occupation. Strategizing, planning, writing, dreaming, asking. Facing rejection day after day. Having people raise the goal year after year.

As much as I love it, fundraising can wear you down.

That’s why Fundraising Secret #24 is: Take time for yourself.

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey calls it “sharpening the saw.” He tells the story of a couple guys that had a contest to see who could saw down the most trees. The first man kept sawing all day. The second stopped periodically to sharpen and oil his blade. Every time he did that, the first man snickered, delighted that he was “taking a break.” He knew that he’d win since he kept working.

But, as afternoon wore on, his blade kept getting duller. And the work kept getting harder. It now took so much more effort to cut each tree down. Already hot, tired, and worn out, he now began to get stressed and cranky.

But the second guy was much more relaxed, working hard but each stroke of the saw did more work than each stroke of the first man’s.

By the end of the day, the second man won.

Can you see the parallel with your work? Working day-in-and-day-out without a break isn’t healthy. You may be working hard, but you’re not working smart.

So what can you do today to give yourself a bit of time to “sharpen the saw”?

  • Read a bit of a personal development book?
  • Treat yourself to some quiet meditation?
  • Take a few minutes to actually enter into conversation with a co-worker, rather than only half listening?
  • Slowly savor a glass of wine?

The list is limitless.

But do something about it. Today.

Don’t allow yourself to get dull and cranky!

[If you want more help on goal setting, be sure to check out my MagnetGoals Goal Setting Program. The e-course is free. Or you could buy the workbook if you’d prefer (in print or as an ebook).]

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