At some level, I think all people want to be productive and effective. Everyone desires to do something, be something, or accomplish something in life. Books on productivity, however, are not always written by people who are concerned with glorifying God and living out the gospel.
What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman is an excellent resource that looks at not only how to get things done but how to get the right things done – things that will matter not just in this life but in eternity.
I really enjoyed all aspects of this book. I enjoyed the hard questions he asked about what is our life’s mission and purpose and making sure we are doing the right things. I also enjoyed the very practical ideas and guidance on how to get things done. I was really blessed by his last chapter about ‘Productivity in a Fallen World.’
I wish he had emphasized the great commission, planting churches, and sending out missionaries more than alleviating poverty, but other than that I think it is an excellent book. It has helped me in quite a few ways and I commend it to you.
Few great quotes from the book:
- More important than efficiency is effectiveness—getting the right things done. Efficiency doesn’t matter if you are doing the wrong things in the first place.
- …the foundation of effectiveness is not first techniques or tools, but character. The only way to make the right decisions is first to be the right kind of person.
- The power behind our productivity comes from realizing that, through faith in the gospel, we are accepted by God in Christ apart from what we do.
- More and more, productivity is about intangibles—relationships developed, connections made, and things learned. We need to incorporate intangibles into our definition of productivity or we will short-change ourselves by thinking that sitting at our desks for a certain number of hours equals a productive day.
- Developing a great vision for the next quarter or year or season of our lives and ministries will not help much if we don’t know how to translate that vision into action.
- I want to show you that serving God in the things you do every day and going beyond to be engaged in God’s global purposes is the life of greatest joy and peace—not seeking personal peace, affluence, wealth, or success.
- We are to use all that we have, in all areas of life, for the good of others, to the glory of God—and that this is the most exciting life.
- One of the most important things we will see is that the chief guiding principle for being productive
is actually love.
- Structure your life by living your life mainly from a flexible routine, not a set of lists.