What’s Best Next: Book Review

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One of the books I try to read every year is “The Effective Executive” By Peter Drucker it’s a classic. Everytime I read it I am challenged afresh.  I am actually in the middle of a blog series where I blogging about each chapter in the Effective Executive. I have always felt that it lacked something as I find with most productivity books they stop short. They make the chief goal of productivity to be more time, money or energy for you. When you come to understand the gospel you understand that the chief goal in life is not me and my need but to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

In “What’s Best Next” Matt Perman does a masterful job of connecting the gospel to productivity. In a time when many people now find throwing the word gospel in a book to sell more copies I found Matt’s book refreshing in that he understand the gospel and apply it well to productivity. Thank you Matt for writing something that needed to be written. As someone who is passionate about the Glory of God in all things, the gospel, theology and about GTD I found “What’s Best Next”  both theologically solid and intensely practical. That is not easy to do.

Matt starts with the goal of productivity – to become efficient with our time so we can have more time for others. He then moves on to talk about how that can practically be done. Here are a few quotes I found personally helpful and challenging.

When you read you are putting investments in a bank from which to draw even if it doesn’t appear to have direct relevance.

Stewardship delegation….has the aim of not just getting task done, but of building others up through the accomplishment of tasks. It is concerned about tasks, but it is equally concerned about the other person. pg 232

On procrastination -
1. Often the reason we procrastinate is that we just aren’t ready
2. Second, if the task seems overwhelming or highly unpleasant, break it down into small chunks. Identify a 15min chunk you can do then just get started.
3. Third, in cases in which you are most significantly tempted to procrastinate, the best thing is to procrastinate positively: do nothing. pg.245

Research bears out by showing that employees with extensive online networks are actually more productive than those without them….Online networks and interactions help us refine, spread and gain ideas. pg250

Start each week by asking:
1. What do I NEED to do this week?
2. What do I WANT to do this week? pg.259

Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all – Peter Drucker

We become most productive by putting others first, not ourselves pg.15

The only way to be productive is to realize we actually don’t have to be productive.

Productivity is the only long-term solution to world poverty.

The mistake of superficial efficiency is that it sacrifices people on the alter of tasks. That’s backward. As we will see later efficiency exists so that you can serve others better not sacrifice them to efficiency. One of the best places for efficiency is being efficient with things so that you can be effective with people. pg.49

I really enjoyed this book I marked it up a ton will be looking it over again. If I  had one suggestion not really a critique at all but perhaps it’s my learning style but if there would do a PDF on how Matt set up his productivity software with picture and what folders you use and how Matt used them I think that would be super helpful. I figured it out from the book and Matt’s blog but the PDF might help others. Really good work Matt this book took lots of time and effort but was well worth it. I reread the effective executive yearly I may switch to every other year and read this book every other year. It was that helpful.  I don’t know how many times I have told my team that we are “Efficient with problems and patient with people.” Thanks Matt for writing a gospel centered book that services to refocus leaders and the church on what really matters most Christ and His Church.

North Star Catechism

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One of the amazing things about the internet is it allows you to meet people you would never meet anywhere else. One of those people I am grateful to have met a couple of ash Wednesdays ago was Jared Kennedy. I love Jared’s passion for the gospel and the application of the gospel for families. Every time I have a conversation with Jared I always learn something and come away with a greater passion for Christ. During one of those conversations he told me of an idea they were working on that is now a reality.

Why many leaders don’t make a difference

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One of the blessings of working in the same church for 17 years is I can see where I made a difference in my church and were I have fallen short. I have many times operated in an environment where the lack of organizational clarity lead me down a path that wasn’t helpful. I have also contributed to the lack of organizational clarity for others. For years I had a very narrow understanding of what my job was. I felt that it was to create fun places for kids and teens to learn. That is a part of my job a very small part.

Baby Dedication Idea: Jesus Storybook Bible

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We are doing our baby dedication service next Saturday. It is always such a joy and privilege to share this special moment with the families of our church. At every Baby Dedication service we give each child a Jesus Storybook Bible it is the best gift you can give any young family. Kids and adults alike need to understand the gospel. I know of no other book that explains the totally of scripture and the purpose behind the bible in a such a simple and profound way as the Jesus Storybook Bible does. If you do baby dedications I beg you to give this to every family. They will be better for it.

Below is the letter I enclose for every parent.

What getting angry, scared or despondent says about us.

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When something touching an idol in our lives the three most common reactions are anger, fear and despair. It’s sadly ironic that the reactions that we get from having an idol in our life be threatened that we respond in anger, fear and despair which each drive us deeper into our idolatrous behavior.