Once upon a time a very strong wood cutter got a job in a timber company. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.
His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.
The first day, the wood cutter brought down eighteen trees.
“Congratulations,” the boss said, “Go on that way!”
Very motivated by the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day. But he could only bring fifteen trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he only could cut ten trees. Day after day his output decreased.
“I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was wrong.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
“Sharpen? I’ve had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees.”
The boss said, “if I had eight hours to cut a tree, I would use four hours to sharpen my axe and four hours to cut the tree!”