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What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Aaron Perman , John Piper
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Do Work That Matters Productivity isn't just about getting more things done. It's about getting the right things done---the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward. 

In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity? 

When we take God's purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first---to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what's best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work. 

What's Best Next offers a practical approach for improving your productivity in all areas of life. It will help you better understand: 
  • Why good works are not just rare and special things like going to Africa, but anything you do in faith even tying your shoes. 
  • How to create a mission statement for your life that actually works. 
  • How to delegate to people in a way that actually empowers them. 
  • How to overcome time killers like procrastination, interruptions, and multitasking by turning them around and making them work for you. 
  • How to process workflow efficiently and get your email inbox to zero every day. 
  • How your work and life can transform the world socially, economically, and spiritually, and connect to God's global purposes. 
By anchoring your understanding of productivity in God's purposes and plan, What's Best Next will give you a practical approach for increasing your effectiveness in everything you do.

Editorial Reviews


"This book is simply extraordinary.... I doubt there is a person on the planet who knows both theological issues and time management literature to the depth and extent Matt Perman does."

--John Piper, founder and teacher,; author, Don't Waste Your Life

From the Author

"I have been learning from Matt Perman for nearly twenty years, and I am eager for leaders around the world to benefit from his work the way that I have. To my knowledge, there is no one writing today who has thought more deeply about the relationship between the gospel and productivity. You will find in these pages a unique and remarkable combination of theological insight, biblical instruction, and practical counsel that would change the world if put into practice. I could not recommend it more highly."

--Justin Taylor, Managing Editor, ESV Study Bible; blogger, "Between Two Worlds"; co-author, The Final Days of Jesus

"...a Christian companion to Getting Thing Done."
--Hugh Whelchel, Executive Director, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics; author, How Then Should We Work?

"In this amazing volume, Matt Perman offers a wealth of practical, real-world productivity solutions, all framed within the context of the Gospel. He provides the know-how and the know-Who we need to be faithful stewards over the gifts we have been given."

--Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author of Platform;

"A refreshing, lively, remarkably insightful, deeply God-centered approach to productivity. I kept taking notes about ideas that I wanted to implement in my own life. Everyone from any walk of life who reads this book will be helped and encouraged by it."

--Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies 
Phoenix Seminary; author, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution

"Love your neighbor at work! That's the ultimate message of Matt's book What's Best Next. He shows you not only why you need to do this, but also how. Without getting lost in the details, Matt gives a comprehensive framework for identifying the most important things in your work and life and then putting them first. No matter who you are or what your work is, this is a reliable, exciting, and encouraging guidebook on making things happen and getting things done, from a God-centered perspective.

--Brad Lomenick, President of Catalyst; author, The Catalyst Leader

"As Christians, we are called by God to work with all our heart, because our work is--or should be--directly for the Lord. But beyond platitudes no one has really approached being productive at working, until now. Matt Perman approaches the task not only from his personal experience, but from a Christian worldview. Follow his model to align what you do with God's purpose in your life--and in particular in your work."

--B. Joseph Pine II, co-author, The Experience Economy and Infinite Possibility

"The question isn't 'What do I want to do for God?' but 'What does God want me to do?' For a believer, productivity is more than a set of skills. It requires a mindset and worldview. In this book, Matt Perman provides the framework for getting more done and making
a bigger difference in your work."

--Mark Sanborn, bestselling author, The Fred Factor and You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader

"Those of us in management, leadership, ministry, and other kinds of 'knowledge work' often feel overwhelmed with all of the tasks, responsibilities, and relationships that demand our time and attention. This book gives practical, specific guidelines for becoming better organized, more effective, and more productive. But what makes this book stand out is the way Matt Perman integrates all of this down-to-earth advice with the doctrine of vocation--how the Gospel of Christ bears fruit in love and service to God and our neighbors in every facet of life--a truth that  animates every page.   

--Gene Edward Veith, Professor of Literature and Provost of Patrick Henry College; author, God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life

"This book has been on Matt's heart and mind for a long time. It's the fruit of experience as well as insight drawn from Scripture and common sense--without doing injustice to either. There is a lot of wisdom here and I look forward to making use of it in daily life."

--Michael Horton, Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, The Gospel-Driven Life

"Plain and simple: learning to effectively manage your time and tasks is one of the most practical and tangible ways you can love your neighbors, coworkers, family members, and the world at large. There is no one who has articulated this better than Matt Perman in this unique book. It has changed the way I think and work, and I commend it to anyone who strives to love their neighbor as themselves."

--Matt Heerema, Owner and Director, Mere Design Agency; Pastor, Stonebrook Community Church

"What's Best Next is both practical and inspiring as it addresses both the "why" and "how to" aspects of productivity. The result is an engaging, motivating, and exciting vision for your work and the things you do every day right along with helpful, clear, and practical instruction on how to become more effective with less stress. Want to be more productive for the glory of God? Read What's Best Next."

--Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them;

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Likely to become required seminary reading. March 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished: What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman. This is the book I Imagine John Piper would write on productivity; its Christian hedonism/Jonathon Edwards mixed with a good dose of the best secular authors on productivity. This shouldn’t surprise us since Perman worked for Desiring God for some time, and Piper writes the forward…

As the title implies, this book is not just a collection of productivity hacks; instead, it articulates a Christian theology of why we should prize efficiency, well also explaining why we sometimes shouldn’t. This may be the book’s most important contribution, given that much of what matters in the information age is intangible, and often feels incredibly unproductive (i.e., writing a book, networking).

Like most New Testament epistles, the book begins with theology, and only then moves toward practice. As a New Testament professor, my favorite part was the theology of productivity section. The rest feels familiar, covering skills like speed reading and task management (an expanded and updated version of Getting Things Done by David Allen mixed with First Things First by Covey). I don’t feel like I learned much from the skills section, but I loved the incredible selection of quotes from Christian history about productivity, especially from Jonathon Edwards, which will sparkle in future sets of class notes! Along with this, Perman has also included interviews with a variety of Christian and secular influencers on their own habits of productivity. The interviews range from Seth Godin to my favorite Christian blogger, Tim Challies. To be honest, I was hoping for more from these interviews, given the way they were hyped in the introduction.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Disclosure: Matthew Perman generously provided an advance PDF copy of this book. I'm so very happy he did!

Perman candidly testifies that his hope of a achieving a "mind like water" was very rarely ever achieved through GTD practices. Instead, he found his state of mind of being one of "mind like a tsunami" (15). Mine, too.

"Getting Things Done" (GTD, Allen), "Zen to Done" (ZTD, Babauta), and "Getting Results the Agile Way" (GRAW, Meier) are brilliant and practical authors whose methodologies have helped me in becoming more efficient and productive. Yet, too many good things have been left undone, too many people have not been loved and served as I would want to be loved and served, and too many opportunities to do great things of eternal impact have been wasted. These facts have left me heartsick.

What have I been doing wrong in implementation? Was there a better tool than OmniFocus that I needed to find? Should I switch from Moleskine to Rhodia?

Was there no hope? I'm a full-time pastor of a small but thriving country church in rural Washington. My wife's chronic, debilitating and incurable disease is ever worsening. My own recently diagnosed Polycystic Kidney and Liver disease, according to the exceedingly caring and thorough docs at the VA, will continue to degrade my energy level. Could it ever be true that there was a system that would adapt to not only a "mind like tsunami" but a "life like tsunami"?

Brother Matthew has helped me to see that I've been first looking for a system that would enable productivity when I should have been first looking for a person--the Savior! Perman writes, "Productivity is specifically about doing 'the will of the Lord.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
My desire to read Matt Perman's "What's Best Next" came from my own need. Having tried many ways at time management, nothing has ever really clicked into place for me. I've heard popular bloggers talk about Perman's advice on effectiveness for years and was excited when I saw this book was coming out.

The book begins by busting up common myths about productivity. Many of the myths he listed were things I had previously believed. Thus, the introduction alone hooked me. Perman then goes on to say that his "aim in this book is to reshape the way you think about productivity and then present a practical approach to help you become more effective in your life with less stress and frustration, whatever you are doing" (20). This is what I need and you probably do too.

The rest of the book is broken up into seven parts. That sounds like a lot but they move fast. Perman is an engaging writer who doesn't waste word in bringing his message to his readers. Over those seven parts, Perman explains why it's had to get things done but why just getting things done isn't enough. He presents a better--more realistic and purposeful--approach to effectiveness and productivity. This involves figuring out what's most important and clarifying your roles. For Perman, the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a key factor in this part of his productivity. Trusting God, knowing his calling, and glorifying Christ all bring focus to his life and planning. From here, Perman gives practical direction and resources for putting these principles into practice. Here he covers setting up routines, planning out weeks, eliminating wasted time, managing projects, and handling email.

All of this information comes together in ways that make sense and seem doable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Letting your life purpose drive your daily tasks
Point: The Gospel motivates and enables us to do all things for God’s glory by making choices on what is best next. Read more
Published 3 days ago by S. Grotzke
5.0 out of 5 stars Life giving,
I love the way that this book is written. It can be skimmed, or explored in depth.It is your choice. Matthew is quite skilled in his presentation. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on productivity
I was delighted by two things: 1. That a Christian could write a book that was genuinely best in class in regards to equipping people for optimal productivity. 2. Read more
Published 9 days ago by jshelton22
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Solidly Biblical and Supremely Helpful
Matthew clearly establishes great perspective without over-bearing. Through strong themes of service and stewardship, he connects that God-centeredness to both a dependence on... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Robert M Vestal
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to read the stack of efficiency and ...
I didn't want to read the stack of efficiency and time management books I had in my library, only to synthesize and put them through a Christian worldview filter. Read more
Published 13 days ago by jacob z
5.0 out of 5 stars Llife-changing
Is book is everything (out there) on productivity compiled, but also rooted deeply in the Biblical "Why" of productivity. Read more
Published 15 days ago by 36502
3.0 out of 5 stars Read the first 2 chapters then skip to 13 to avoid repeated arguments...
What’s Best Next takes standard Getting Things Done philosophy and applies Christian faith principles to it. Read more
Published 18 days ago by curtismchale
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most helpful and practical books I have ever read
I wish I had learned the principles and practical tips written in this book earlier in my life. This was the first book I read this year, and implementing the guidelines has made... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to be effective in your work. Great theology and practical...
This book was exactly what I was looking for and needed to read. I've read through David Allen's book and found it to be helpful, but as a Christian it left me feeling a little... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Jonathon E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A+++ I would use them again
Published 26 days ago by B. Bigney
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More About the Author

Matt Perman formerly served as the senior director of strategy at Desiring God Ministries in Minneapolis, MN, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of leadership and productivity from a God-centered perspective.

He has an MDiv from Southern Theological Seminary and a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

Matt regularly blogs at and contributes to a number of other online publications as well. He lives in Minneapolis. Twitter: @mattperman.

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