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What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
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What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,972 ratings  ·  274 reviews
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 tak
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Zondervan (first published October 9th 2012)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  1,972 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm biased--I wrote it!
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for thinking through productivity from biblical perspective. If you're just starting out I recommend Challies' Do More Better because it's shorter and more to-the-point. If you want "all in," then you can tackle Perman's book, which goes in to much greater detail in setting up good productivity systems. Will review frequently.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was super legit and helpful. It brought into perspective something I hadn't thought of much before which was how to think about productivity from a biblical worldview. I tried to get as much out of the book as I could so I wrote out everything he prompted me to, such as a mission statement of my life, underlying beliefs that shape how I spend my time and so forth. I also wrote out 16 resolutions for my life which was also really fun. I can post my resolutions here if anyone wants to re ...more
Graham Heslop
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is full of valuable theological insights, selective adaption and sometimes adoption of secular writing on productivity, a plethora of practical points, and gospel motivated good works. But a few things need to be said, justifying my rating.

Firstly, and quite ironically, for a book on effectiveness (careful, not efficiency) and productivity it is hopelessly longwinded and lacking in brevity or precision. One might point me to the 'core idea boxes' at the end of each chapter but that wou
David Schultz
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perman gives a thorough and orienting discussion of true productivity. Grounded in Scripture, the book explains the robust reasons behind productivity as a Christian and presents specific ways to carry out our vocations. Looking forward to putting his suggestions into practice.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the risk of being dramatic, What’s Best Next has changed the way that I prioritize, organize, think, and live. Perman points out that productivity is not, chiefly, about getting more things done, but about getting the right things done. He explores the theology of vocation in the relationship between gospel grace and effectiveness at work. If you find yourself feeling constant stress or guilt about the things left undone at the end of your days and weeks, grab this book and re-evaluate your s ...more
Evan Knies
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. It is the best Gospel Centered book that I have read on productivity. Get this book!
Keren Threlfall
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted here:

Like many Evangelicals, I have grown weary of seeing Christian authors simply take secular books, concepts, and ideas, slap on the label "Biblical" (or "Gospel-centered," "Christian," "godly," or other buzzwords), throw in a few (usually-out-of-context) Bible verses and call it their own, usually holding their version on a pedestal.

When I first saw this book and started into it, I'm afraid both Daniel and I did a mental eye roll, thinking tha
Adam Calvert
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I typically don't have much appreciation for many "Christian Living" books (or the entire genre for that matter). But this book in particular is a game changer.

If you're like me in the mind frame of "Christian Living" books/genre, perhaps you'll do better as thinking of this book as part of systematic theology, with the specific study being: ergonology, or the doctrine of [good] works (Eph. 2:10).

And that's what this whole book is about: setting a course for and giving us tools to accomplish tho
Knowlton Murphy
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the most helpful books I've ever read. I don't come by productivity or organization or time-efficiency naturally...a combination of personality and a South American take on how time works, perhaps...but this book gave me an enormous amount of new categories to help me think about time management and what efficiency can look like. Great theological foundation: loving God and loving others. Helpful simple but practical insights, like being outcome instead of task oriented, assigning time-va ...more
Jason Kanz
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
What's Best Next (2014) by Matt Perman addresses "how the gospel transforms the way you get things done." Perman tackles the issue of what it means to be productive as a Christian. This 351 page book is broken down into 24 chapters over 7 sections. Perman begins by establishing the groundwork for how and why a gospel-centered productivity is important. He then progresses into more practical matters, presenting the reader with productivity principles and then discussing his mnemonic: DARE, which ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Matt Perman has presented to us a truly excellent book in which he accomplishes two things. First, he presents a compelling Theology of Productivity. The presentation on this point is quite at home with the core emphases of Desiring God Ministries: God’s majesty; God’s sovereignty; John Piper’s so-called Christian Hedonism; Evangelism-through-vocational-pursuit; etc. I am not entirely comfortable with all of that, but I found Perman’s writing to be mature and useful as he fleshed out his idea of ...more
Sam James
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This book is excellent. It has the charm of being easy to read while at the same forcing you to think about the most terrifying but obvious questions we all are too 'busy' to ask: what is the point of my life? and what does that mean I should be doing? And how?

Any human book that claims to answer these kinds of questions is obviously taking on a massive task, but Perman treats the subject with immense care and delight. The step-by-step process is digestible even to the most unorganised types.

Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Easily one of the best books I've read on productivity, connecting theology with getting things done. There are so many take-aways, sections I plan on reviewing again, and acronyms that are both memorable and useful: D.A.R.E. (Define, Architect, Reduce, Execute) and D.E.A.D. (Delegate, Eliminate, Automate, Defer). I cannot commend this book highly enough!

"It is my contention that in addition to the very helpful secular books that exist, we also need to develop a distinctly Christian understandin
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I rate this book 3.5 stars. There are several really good bits in the book, some help that I had not heard before, some that I had. Reinforced some learnings and some bits that seemed to drag on and repeated the same message. Overall worth a read if you are looking to become more effective in what you do.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. So helpful.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Applying the rule of thumb I learned from Al Mohler and putting this book I'm not into down. I really have a great effort and wanted to enjoy it but didn't.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture-track
Listen, I have read many productivity books and tried a number of systems. This is the first book that goes into the biblical basis of productivity and the reason to "get things done." In short, you get things done to honor God. You should get things done that grow people and further the gospel. You should get things done better, so that you can more effectively do more good. Short and sweet. Matt perman unpacks all this...and gives a great productivity system near the end.

Highly recommend if y
Rick Dugan
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Productivity isn’t only about getting things done. It’s about getting the right things done. It’s about discerning the best thing that should be done next, and doing it. It’s about making a positive contribution, being useful, and giving more than we get (71). In short, it’s about knowing what is most important and putting that first (132-33). Productivity is part of the creation mandate. Problem solving and strategizing can stimulate Spirit-led thinking.

This requires making God’s priorities our
Elizabeth Johnson
Matt Perman's book "What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done" is not a traditional productivity book, although it does include some ideas and practices for working and living more effectively. It's more like a combination of a practical theology of work and gospel-oriented advice for ordering your life.

The book starts by building a strong case for a biblical view of productivity, and distinguishing it from the world's view of getting things done. It lays the ground
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Gospel-oriented look at productivity.

Perman connects these two worlds excellently. Productivity is not the end all and be all, defining our success or happiness. God is. The secular stuff on productivity often assumes a wrong attitude on this.

But thanks to God’s common grace, there is much good wisdom to glean from that material, too. Perman uses it. Quoting Peter Drucker and Stephen Covey right alongside Al Mohler and John Piper was a little surreal, but it works. He interviews some interest
Brent Jones
Not perfect, and definitely more for those in ministry or the business world, but this book incorporates a gospel-centered way of productivity that other classics don't emphasize. Perman mixes the systems of Allen's Getting Things Done with the principles of Covey's 7 Habits while continually pointing to the root of all productivity: God. He weaves the glory of God and our calling to serve others into every aspect of how he gets things done and claims we should too. He has a pretty set way to go ...more
Russell Patterson
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Matt Perman breaks down the wall between faith and productivity with this incredibly well-written, compelling guide to making sure that what we do has impact toward what is important in life. While many productivity books start with the day to day processes and back out to life purposes in later chapters, Perman reverses the process, reminding us that we need to keep those larger goals at the forefront of our lives as we go about our day to day activities. His ideas on productivity are - to quot ...more
Barnabas Piper
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the principles in this book. Matt Perman does a fantastic job connecting a Christian's commitment to the gospel to the commitment to excellence in one's work. He makes clear how productivity is loving to others. The first 2/3 of this book are solid gold. One weakness of the book is that it applies best to those who are self-employed or mostly dictate their own schedule. The principles are great for everyone, but the application often leans toward the entrepreneur/executive. The only othe ...more
Nathanael Ayling
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book might just have changed my life. It has revolutionised my work flow, enabled me to control the 100s of unread emails in my inbox and keep them down to zero (almost) every day - something I thought was not possible before reading this book. It will be one to refer back to again and again. The author also has a very helpful blog with bonus chapters and lots of interesting articles.
Highly recommend this book!
Trevor Winsor
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and practical reshaping of the topic of productivity. Matt hammers down the gospel and its relation to and affect on our productivity. Highly recommend this book to anyone, Christian or not, as it will change your mindset and will also give you easy and practical steps to redefining and accomplishing true productivity.
Luke Miller
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is easily the best book on time management that I've read. It incorporates many of the principles from other popular books (Covey, Allen, Drucker, etc.), but it also includes a foundational section on how the gospel motivates and shapes our view of productivity. If you love books that spread the gospel into the corners of everyday life, you'll love this one. Excellent!
Lisa Jacobson
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book probably deserves more than 3 stars because there was much I appreciated and took away from it, so don’t let it deter you from picking it up. The writing was only okay, however, and it could have used some tightening up. I ended up speed-reading half of it, but a few chapters in particular made it worthwhile (“Creating the Right Routines” for instance).
Daniel Henderson
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is amazing! I have been reading a lot of leadership/ productivity books this past year and this one was by far the most useful and gospel centred

A full review to follow, but preorder this book!.
Eric Abisror
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: productivity
This was an extremely helpful and challenging book. If you are looking to increase your effectiveness and productivity, this is a excellent read. Grounded in theology and very practical! Now, I think I'm going to go a re-read some of the chapters.
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Matt Perman is director of Marketing at Made to Flourish and the author of What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan, 2014). He has an M.Div. in biblical and theological studies from Southern Seminary and a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. Prior to Made to Flourish, Matt served as director of strategy at D ...more

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164 likes · 30 comments
“While efficiency is important, it is secondary. More important than efficiency is effectiveness — getting the right things done. Efficiency doesn’t matter if you are doing the wrong things in the first place.” 3 likes
“One of the best places for efficiency is being efficient with things so that you can be effective with people.” 2 likes
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