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What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done Paperback – Illustrated, September 13, 2016
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From the Author
--John Piper, founder and teacher, desiringGod.org; author, Don't Waste Your Life
"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."
"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; MichaelHyatt.com
"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
"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
--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; edstetzer.com
About the Author
Matt Perman is the director of career development at The King’s College NYC and cofounder of What’s Best Next, an organization that helps empower Christians to be more productive in all areas of life, and to do so in a way that is God-centered and gospel-driven. Previously, he served as director of marketing at Made to Flourish and was director of strategy at Desiring God for thirteen years. He is the author of What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan, 2014). Matt has an MDiv in biblical and theological studies from Southern Seminary and a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. Matt is a frequent speaker on the topics of leadership and productivity from a God-centered perspective and also consults with businesses and nonprofits, focusing on startups devoted to solving large global problems. He blogs at www.whatsbestnext.com.
- ASIN : 0310533988
- Publisher : Zondervan; Enlarged edition (September 13, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- Item Weight : 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.04 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #91,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Perman does a great job of building upon popular productivity principles and presents them in a gospel-centered framework. Perhaps you have tried adopting principles, patterns and methods from other productivity books but have got burned out using them and found that they just don't translate well for you. This book is different! If you want to live a life of purpose this book will help you become a better steward of the time God has entrusted to you by helping you define what is productivity, what things are truly productive, and how they fit into your life.
MY TOP TAKEAWAYS:
Here are the top 12 Myths this book will help the reader overcome in regards to a gospel-centered view of productivity:
Myth #1: Productivity is about getting more done faster.
Truth: Productivity is about effectiveness first, not efficiency.
Myth #2: The way to be productive is to have the right techniques and tools.
Truth: Productivity comes first from character , not techniques. The only way to make the right decisions is first to be the right kind of person (Rom. 12: 1 – 2; 2 Peter 5: 1 – 8).
Myth #3: It is not essential to give consideration to what God has to say about productivity.
Truth: We cannot be truly productive unless all our activity stems from love for God and the acknowledgment that he is sovereign over all our plans.
Myth #4: It is not essential to make the gospel central in our view of productivity.
Truth: The only way to be productive is to realize that you don’t have to be productive.
Myth #5: The way to be productive is to tightly manage yourself (and others!).
Truth: Productivity comes from engagement, not tight control; when we are motivated, we don’t need to tightly control ourselves (or others).
Myth #6: The aim of time management should be our peace of mind.
Truth: Productivity is first about doing good for others to the glory of God.
Myth #7: The way to succeed is to put yourself first.
Truth: We become most productive by putting others first, not ourselves.
Myth #8: We will have peace of mind if we can get everything under control.
Truth: Basing our peace of mind on our ability to control everything will never work.
Myth #9: To-do lists are enough.
Truth: Time is like space, and we need to see lists as support material for our activity zones, not as sufficient in themselves to keep track of what we have to do.
Myth #10: Productivity is best defined by tangible outcomes.
Truth: The greatest evidence of productivity comes from intangibles, not tangibles.
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. Truth: The greatest evidence of productivity comes from intangibles, not tangibles.
Myth #11: The time we spend working is a good measure of our productivity.
Truth: We need to measure productivity by results, not by time spent working.
Deadlines work well for execution tasks (the realm of personal management), but they do not work well for creative tasks and ambiguity (the realm of personal leadership).
Myth #12 : Having to work really hard or even suffer in our work means our priorities are screwed up or we are doing something wrong.
Truth: We will (sometimes) suffer from our work, and it is not sin.
The book starts by building a strong case for a biblical view of productivity, and distinguishing it from the world's view of getting things done. It lays the groundwork for understanding why a good theology of productivity matters, how it will help us become better Christians, and what benefits it will provide (other than getting more things done).
After establishing a strong foundation of how the Bible defines productivity, he then moves into more practical application of those principles. Some sections I found especially helpful were: how and why to create a mission statement in light of the gospel's timeless truth, how to define your roles in light of the gospel's commands, how to set up your week with a view for serving others, and how to delegate for the benefit of others (not just for yourself).
This book will challenge your thinking! It's not a fast read, although it's well-written and engaging. But it requires a lot of thought and calls for some "homework" along the way -- for instance, the chapter on creating a mission statement or defining your roles requires time out to do just that. It's not a book worth rushing through. Thankfully, each chapter closes with a box (literally called "The Box") that includes the chapter's core point, core quote, and core Scripture passage; a task for immediate application; common questions and answers; and further resources about the chapter's content.
Additionally, the book ends with a "toolkit" that can be revisited time and again, whenever you need a refresher on some aspect of gospel-driven productivity. It includes things like a 500-word recap of the topic; an easy reference guide to key issues in productivity (pointing to various pages within the book itself); an annotated bibliography for further reading on key productivity-related topics; and a list of tools available for free online, including five bonus chapters and other helpful articles.
Highly recommend for any Christian who wants to get anything done... no matter what your role may be! It shares a strong biblical worldview, keeps Scripture as the highest authority, and strikes a fine balance between grace and law. It is a resource I will be returning to in the future whenever I need a refresher on "what's best next."
If you're a GTD addict who has tried every system and tool available, this is for you. If you're a person that has a hard time staying on task or finishing things, this book is for you. It's a long read, but a good investment. It's a unique book, the likes of which I've never seen before.
Top reviews from other countries
Basically, there's some great material here on being organised and planning life well. None of it is new: read David Allen (Getting things Done) and Stephen Covey (Seven Habits) and you'll discover essentially the same stuff, but much, much more readable.
I personally (and this is personal) found this book dull and repetitive. It's designed to summarize everything regularly, like a textbook, and that gets wearing fast when actually the explanation was simple enough in the first place. And then some chapters don't actually explain what they are talking about, so you have to read a chapter or two of explanation of how to do something, without any idea of what it actually is. More concrete examples would have helped.
The great unique contribution of this book is the Christian understanding of productivity. It's certainly not bad stuff, and there are soe good insights, but it felt like a little good stuff laboured and repeated endlessly.
Most of all, though, I found the book ultimately impractical. There are lots of practical things in it. But it's designed for creative types in jobs they love with either no kids or, frankly, a wife who deals with everything at home. He suggests that if you don't really enjoy your job you should get another, because that's key to productivity, among other things.
That just doesn't seem like the real world for most people. The author, who by all accounts is a great guy, just doesn't seem to give enough help to those of us with lives that aren't picture-perfect and are demanding outside work.
That said, there's plenty of good practical stuff in it. It does condense a lot of insights from other productivity books. It's a great idea. And as I said, I realise this is a pretty personal reaction - lots of people like the book.
But the execution seems lacking, both in writing style, depth of thought, and engagement with real life.
Having used Dave Allen's 'Getting things Done' in the past, Perman is very helpful in helping us prioritise the important tasks rather than getting caught up in many small tasks. This is particularly helpful for those in Christian ministry where Allen is weak.
If I had one small thing I wasn't entirely in agreement with it would be the final chapter where he puts a far greater emphasis on social action than I would have liked. He sees it as part of the great mission of God in the world, alongside the Great Commission. His position is nuanced but ends up taking evangelism and missions off the top spot. I would have preferred our great aim is to evangelise the world, and the way we do it is in love and through mercy and justice, and through our daily work (which Perman argues for).
But this book is massively helpful and well worth not only reading but also spending time integrating into life.
I've used the Kindle version and when read on an iPad it's great to be able to follow the numerous blog and web references easily.
I didnt grow up a Christian and let me tell you, wether your a person of faith or not this book could be of real benifit to you, because in my humble opinion it is based on absalute truths.