What's Best Next


I am right in the middle of reading What’s Best Next – How The Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman.  I couldn’t wait to finish the book before I blogged about it. It’s that good. If you are like me you may struggle with productivity and getting things done. I’ve read many books on the subject, listened to lectures and even attended a seminar.  What they all lack is the Gospel. What Matt Perman does in his book is to beautifully link the Gospel to productivity.  All of life is lived out under the sovereignty of God. So I must not try to separate productivity from God’s sovereignty and efficacy.  In the back of the book Matt includes a helpful recap of the entire book. I include it here now. But I would highly recommend you get the whole book and digest it.

What’s Best Next In 500 Words

Gospel – driven productivity in a nutshell

“We need to look to God to define for us what productivity is, rather than to simply subscribe to the ambiguous concept of ”what matters most.”  For God is what matters most.

When we do this, we don’t enter a realm of spiritual weirdness, as we might fear. Good secular thinking remains relevant as a gift of God’s common grace. Neither do we enter a realm of overspiritualization where the things we do every day don’t matter.

Instead, the things we do every day take on greater significance because they are avenues through which we serve God and others. In fact, the Gospel teaches us that the good of others is to be the main motive in all that we do and the chief criterion by which we determine “what’s best next.” This is not only right, but also is the best way to be productive, as the best business thinkers are showing. More important, when we do this in God’s power as an offering to him, he is glorified and shown to be great in the world.

In order to be most effective in this way in our current era of massive overload and yet incredible opportunity, we need to do four things to stay on track and lead and manage our lives effectively:

1. Define

2. Architect

3. Reduce

4. Execute

The result of doing these things is not only our own increased peace of mind and ability to get things done, but also the transformation of the world by the gospel because it is in our everyday vocations that we take our faith into the world and the light of the gospel shines–both in what we say and what we do (Matthew 5:16).

If You Take Only Five Productivity Practices Away From This Book

Learning and especially implementing productivity practices can be hard. It is easy to forget what we learned or forget how to apply it. One remedy is to keep coming back to this book. But if you could take away only five things from this book, take these:

1. Foundation: Look to God, in Jesus Christ, for your purpose, security, and guidance in all of life.

2.Purpose: Give your whole self to God (Romans 12:1 – 2), And then live for the good of others to his glory to show that he is great in the world.

3. Guiding principle: Love your neighbor as yourself. Treat others the way you want them to treat you. Be proactive in this and even make plans to do good.

4. Core strategy: Know what’s most important and put it first.

5. Core tactic: Plan your week, every week! Then, as things come up throughout the day, ask, “Is this what’s best next?” Then, either do them right away or, if you can’t, slot them into your calendar or actions list so that you will be sure to do them at the right time.” (page 329-330)