"Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the most important presidents in American history. He was well known for his energy and productivity. Abe Lincoln's productivity secret was to use sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently. He said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” "Lincoln, who was a skilled woodcutter before becoming president, probably meant this both literally and figuratively. Inefficient tools waste energy. It's better to spend the majority of your time finding and cultivating the best tools for any task. "Sharpening your axe can include things like setting up email filters, installing productivity software, and developing more efficient systems and processes. But (and most of us forget this), the most important ‘tool’ for achieving any task is YOU – your ability to use your mind and body to its full potential. Sadly it is also the one that we most often take for granted. We expect our bodies and minds to just keep on going and going even though we don’t look after them. "Most of us do not give our bodies and minds enough sleep, don’t eat enough nutritional food and don’t drink enough water. We poison our bodies and minds with junk-food, cigarettes, alcohol and a variety of other substances. We exercise too little and don’t take proper breaks. We don’t relax and we don’t enrich ourselves with learning, creativity and beauty. In short, we don’t sharpen our axe"! "Here are four variations of an inspirational story which illustrates why it is so important to sharpen your axe".