There were days when we felt like we were owned by our inboxes. There were weeks when the tyranny of the urgent unraveled the best-laid plans of mice and men, and all the plans of all the people in our immediate vicinity. We were tired. We were frustrated. We were overwhelmed with our work and underwhelmed with our results.
And then the humble to-do list came along to be the saving grace of our working lives. Not surprisingly, however, it could not live up to the enormous weight of the task.
I’ve read David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I subscribe to the Wunderlist app. I use Google Calendar to know what my week looks like at any given moment. I try to practice “inbox zero” as a discipline. I file documents, much to my mother’s surprise. And there are still times when I feel very busy, but not very productive.
What has been missing from our systems? All the right systems in the world will not help us be effective if we’re using them to do the wrong things. Enter Matthew Perman’s new book, What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done.
This is a timely, biblically grounded, disciple-equipping book that excels above the secular field that has dominated much of the business practice and personal development market.
Perman has studied under John Piper and served as a major part of the DesiringGod.com website, including its recent redesign and relaunch. He has lived the life of juggling multiple major projects, as a family man, and maintaining his focus as a follower of Jesus. In writing this book, he has given the church a major advancement not merely in systems of effectiveness, but also in foundational principles that ensure the right system is applied to the right work for the right reasons.
Rather than just adding a layer on top of the pre-existing productivity theories, Perman begins with a theological grasp of work, efficiency, excellence and values. He shows how common grace has infused secular thinking with some biblically founded principles, but then outlines where we must course-correct so as to be giving our maximum effort to the most important work.
What’s Best Next moves from foundational thinking to practical expression, providing multiple ways to implement the core convictions it describes—with everything covered from calendars, emails, projects, tasks, daily workflows, weekly workflows, mission statements, vision statements and more.
This is a timely, biblically grounded, disciple-equipping book that excels above the secular field that has dominated much of the business practice and personal development market. This is a read that will be valuable to the further expansion of the mission of the church, and which could be used very effectively as a bridge-builder with businessmen and businesswomen in your city.