“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax”.
~Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. President.
My husband says if he had allocated his time in this fashion to a task set by his Dad, he would have had hell to pay. But I don’t think so from what I know of his very successful, business-minded father. Spending more time making sure you have the right tools and they are in peak operating condition before you begin using them is always a wise use of time. I get that timing, and not wasting time, is critical (the perfect being the enemy of the good and so forth), but the task will almost always go much more smoothly with upfront planning and preparation. Hacking away with a dull blade exhausts the person doing the job and makes a mess of the outcome. Undoubtedly, it also takes longer to do the actual chopping, even if you still make your eight hour deadline. Taking the time to hone your instrument also gives you time to invest the project with thought (as in where to strike the tree and how often) and, yes, love, because you put more of your spirit into the task, not just blunt force. That alone will guarantee a more elegant and successful outcome, and leave you with energy to spare for the next task, peace of mind due to a job well executed, and a body less taxed by the physical exertion.