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. This expanded edition includes a new chapter on productivity in a fallen world and a new appendix on being more productive with work that requires creative thinking.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: Why We Need a Uniquely Christian View on Productivity
Part 1: First Things First:Making God Supreme in Our Productivity
1. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET THINGS DONE?
Introducing the villains
2. WHY EFFICIENCY IS NOT THE ANSWER
Putting effectiveness over efficiency
3. WHY WE NEED TO BE GOD-CENTERED IN OUR PRODUCTIVITY
How seeking to be productive without God is the most unproductive thing in the world
4. DOES GOD CARE ABOUT GETTING THINGS DONE?
Why knowing how to get things done is essential to Christian discipleship
Part 2: Gospel-Driven Productivity: A New Way to Look at Getting Things Done
5. WHY THE THINGS YOU DO EVERY DAY MATTER
Productivity is really about getting good works done
6. PUT OTHERS FIRST: LOVE AS THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE FOR ALL OF LIFE
The gospel calls us to put others before ourselves; this is not only right but also the way to be most productive
7. HOW THE GOSPEL MAKES US PRODUCTIVE
The only way to be productive is to realize you don’t have to be productive
8. PEACE OF MIND WITHOUT HAVING EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL
Don’t turn productivity into a new law: productivity and Philippians 4
9. THE ROLE OF PRAYER AND SCRIPTURE IN OUR PRODUCTIVITY
God-centered character as the foundation of all productivity
10. THE CORE PRINCIPLE FOR MAKING YOURSELF EFFECTIVE
Know what’s most important and put it first
Part 3: Define: Know What’s Most Important
11. WHAT’S YOUR MISSION? HOW NOT TO WASTE YOUR LIFE
Setting a God-centered direction for your life
12. FINDING YOUR LIFE CALLING
Discovering why you are here, and how vision differs from mission
13. CLARIFYING YOUR ROLES
Our roles are not simply areas of responsibility, but callings from God
Part 4: Architect: Create a Flexible Structure
14. SETTING UP YOUR WEEK
The (almost) missing component in GTD
15. CREATING THE RIGHT ROUTINES
The six routines you need to have
Part 5: Reduce: Free Up Your Time for What’s Most Important
16. THE PROBLEM WITH FULL SYSTEM UTILIZATION
Avoiding the ringing effect and why you need to reduce
17. THE ART OF MAKING TIME
Delegating, eliminating, automating, and deferring in the right way
18. HARNESSING THE TIME KILLERS
Harnessing multitasking, interruptions, and procrastination
Part 6: Execute: Do What’s Most Important
19. WEEKLY PLANNING
If you can do only one thing, this is it
20. MANAGING EMAIL AND WORKFLOW
The five steps for processing your work
21. MANAGING PROJECTS AND ACTIONS
How to connect your actions to your life so they actually get done
22. DAILY EXECUTION
Nine principles for making things happen every day
Part 7: Living This Out
23. PRODUCTIVITY IN ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETY
Why we must care about productivity in all of life
24. THE GREATEST CAUSE IN THE WORLD
Productivity, world missions, and how our faith relates to our work
"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, former Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church; author, Don’t Waste Your Life