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

I set out to read 1 book every week this year, and I am happy to say that I made it to book #52.  What’s Best Next is not only the last book of 2017 but maybe my favorite.  It definitely has such a rich combination of doctrinal vibrancy and practical brilliance that is a great read in preparing for a new year.

I love gospel-based productivity books, and this volume is a great one.

The only problem with the book is I have too much to change as a result of it.  I need to read it a few more times to get all the goodness in it!

Book Overview

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 take God’s purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first—to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what’s best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work.

What’s Best Next offers a practical approach for improving your productivity in all areas of life.

Favorite Quotes

  1. My aim in this book is to reshape the way you think about productivity and then present a practical approach to help you become more effective in your life with less stress and frustration, whatever you are doing (20).
  2. Gospel-Drive Productivity (GDP) is centered on what the Bible has to say about getting things done while at the same time learning from the best secular thinking out there – and seeking to do this with excellence and original thought, rather than simply taking over secular ideas and adding out-of-context Bible verses (28).
  3. More important than efficiency is effectiveness – getting the right things done (43).
  4. We can be productive in an ultimate sense only if we center our productivity around God and the gospel (60).
  5. The entire purpose of our lives – what God wants from us – is to do good for others, to the glory of God (74).
  6. Don’t just do good works; be zealous, energetic, and eager in doing them (90).
  7. Gospel-driven Christians are Christians who are enthusiastic in doing good not to gain acceptance with God but because they already have acceptance with God (112).
  8. Your mission is discovered, not chosen (150).
  9. We need to both carve out time for focused work and then also weave into our days the flexibility to be freely available so that we can recognize interruptions as opportunities for productive interaction (248).
  10. There is one simple practice that, if you do nothing else, will keep you on track.  That practice is weekly planning (257).
  11. Do what’s important first, not last (292).
  12. To change the world, first change your world (321).
  13. If your work is that easy, you probably aren’t challenging yourself – or seeking the good of others – sufficiently (331).