I was in two minds about whether I should schedule a post for today. On one hand, it’s Monday and I would like to maintain my post schedule as far as possible. On the other hand, I am sure that you, I and everyone else has better things to do on Christmas day than read an IT blog.

Then I stumbled across this (very old) post from Steve Will which makes a point well worth repeating:

Andy and Bob were lumberjacks. To determine which was faster at chopping down trees, they entered into a wilderness competition. Placed in the middle of a big forest, each was given camping gear and an axe and told they could chop trees for as long as they wanted each day. They were told the size of trees that were acceptable, and at the end of a month, whoever had chopped more trees would be the winner.

On the first day, Andy and Bob started at the same
wing how dangerous falling trees can be in the dark, Andy resolved to keep going until sunset, but Andy noticed Bob stopped a little earlier than sundown. Andy felt great, sure that this meant Bob was not as tough as Andy, and so Andy pushed on until dark, and even a little after, getting a nice lead in the number of trees he had chopped down.

A couple more days went by like this, with Bob stopping earlier than Andy, and Andy pushing hard. Andy was quite tired at the end of each day work, but he was happy with the lead he was building.

By the middle of the second week, however, he saw that Bob was catching up. For some reason, Bob was able to chop more trees each day than Andy, and Andy was a little frustrated. How could this be happening?

So, at the end of the second week, Andy followed Bob back to Bob camp to catch a look at what Bob was doing with the time he wasn’t spending chopping trees. And what was Bob doing?

He was sharpening his axe.

Happy Christmas, and stay sharp.

Categories: Notes

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