Photo remixed from an original by Darren Kirby.
Lincoln, who was a skilled woodcutter before becoming one of the most important presidents in US history, probably meant this both literally and figuratively. Inefficient tools waste your energy. It’s better to spend the majority of your time finding and cultivating the best tools for any task.
Applied to indoor jobs, “sharpening your axe” may include things like setting up email filters, using text expansion, and installing productivity software. Furthering your education, eating right for better brain power, and otherwise sharpening your most important tool — your mind — also will help you work more efficiently.