One reason that I am so drawn to reading is the ability it has to merge separate thoughts into new and exciting opportunities for change. Changed thinking…changed life.I was given the opportunity recently to be part of a launch team for a new book by Matt Perman titled What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. This very insightful read was just released a couple of weeks ago and I am anxious to tell about its merits.
I admit, I have this thing for life hacks…you know those cutting-edge techniques that are designed to make you more organized and therefore more productive in your life. With a busy pace, anything that can help me stay on top of my game is always welcome.
But I think I have been missing an important component, more specifically, what is the purpose of my being productive from a Gospel perspective? Is it just for, as David Allen writes, “getting things done”?
Perman talks about the idea of Gospel-Driven Productivity or GDP. And I believe one quote that I read was paramount for me:
The essence of GDP is this: We are to use all that we have, in all areas of life, for the good of others, to the glory of God – and that this is the most exciting life. To be a Gospel-driven Christian means to be on the lookout to do good for others to the glory of God, in all areas of life, and to do this with creativity and competence. Further, being gospel-driven means knowing how to get things done so that we can serve others in a way that really helps, in all areas of life, without making ourselves miserable in the process through overload, overwhelm, and hard-to-keep-up systems.
Three reasons that I have gleaned for why to read this book:
- I become productive so that I can serve others well.
- I become creative so that I can serve others well.
- I become competent so that I can serve others well.
And Perman makes a point that it is all driven by love: love for God and love for our fellow man.
It was the convergence of several thoughts about this topic that hit me hard. And I think I am getting it now. Being productive is not for me and my benefit primarily; being productive is to help those around me.
We are all looking for purpose in what we do, and this book pushes my thought to the next level…and then some. I have not finished this book yet, but I have read enough to say I highly recommend it. And it is pushing back on my own thought about why I am productive.
If you want Matt’s own insights on his new release, check out this summary. And thanks to Matt and his team for the opportunity to be part of the fun.
A closing quote to this review:
True productivity is not first about efficiency – doing things right and doing them quickly – but effectiveness – doing the right things.