A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job.
“Let’s see you fell this tree first” said the foreman.
The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled the large tree.
The foreman was impressed and said to the young man: “You can start on Monday.”
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday came and went. On Thursday afternoon the foreman came to the young man and said: “You can pick up your pay-check on your way out today.”
Startled the young man exclaimed,
“But I thought you paid on Friday!” “That’s right,” said the foreman,
“but we are letting you go today because you have fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you have dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”
“But I work really hard,” said the young man. “I arrive early, I leave late and I even work through my breaks. Please don’t just fire me.”
The foreman knew this to be true, and sensing the young man’s integrity, stopped and thought for a bit.
Then he asked: “Have you been sharpening your axe?”
The young man replied: “No sir. I have been working too hard to take time for that.”
Moral of the story:
Do not work so hard that you don’t take time for the most important things in life – the things that ultimately make you more effective.