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Does anyone else think their car feels cleaner, faster and snappier as you drive away from a passed MOT inspection? Or is it just me?

By the same token, how do you feel when you leave the dentist after a clean and polish? Or when you’ve filed all your paperwork?

The reason for all this contentment is because your essential maintenance is finally complete and you feel that you have a fresh start available to you. Despite the fact that most of us consider ‘maintenance’ to be in the pile of ‘things I HAVE to do but which don’t achieve anything meaningful’, our brains recognise that completion of those things is an enabler to carrying out of more important things. Our brains are cleverer than we are.

Think about it. How well could we do what is important if we didn’t, at some point, carry out the foundational ‘unimportant’ admin and saw-sharpening that supports us? How well could we write and research if we didn’t maintain our computers? How could we get around if we didn’t maintain our transportation? How could we charge clients if our billing records weren’t up to snuff?

How embarrassing is it when your pen runs out of ink just at the signature stage of a contractual negotiation?

Maintenance is a way of ensuring effectiveness at the front end, folks.

That goes as much for ‘you’ as it does your ‘stuff’. It’s all very well you accepting this advice and setting about checking your pens for ink, your pencils for lead and your car’s service schedule for late oil changes, but what about you?

Your body needs to be properly maintained constantly if it is to enable success and effectiveness in all of your roles. Eat too much and you slow down while your body digests it. Poison it with alcohol or excessive caffeine and you make it jump before it plummets again. Fail to exercise and the lubricants clog and congeal and eventually need changing. If they CAN be changed.

Your brain needs to be fed and nurtured, too. That doesn’t solely mean intellectual data input, it also means that stuff which calms the neurons, like music and (paradoxically) silence in nature. Although from a work perspective, keeping up to speed with practice and protocol changes is a necessary activity if we aren’t to become redundant in an intangible way – or worse, a tangible, ‘go-work-somewhere-else’ kind of way.

Take a few minutes today to find out if there is anything you need to know or do to improve your relevancy at work, and to ensure that the only tool through which you do everything – your body – will remain capable of serving you for longer. Like until you are 101, not up to ‘65 and knackered’ There are plenty of apps, books and facilities providing advice and equipment for these purposes.

You can also ignore all three of those and just take the odd moment to sit quietly and enjoy the silence.

Keep your saw sharp. It’s a cutting edge philosophy.