I am enjoying Matt Perman’s book, Whats Best Next. It has some of the typical drawbacks of this type of book. But I am at a place in my life where I want to be more effective in the vocation God has called me to, as well as in my family life. I think this book is going to be helpful in my quest.
Perman begins by stating twelve myths about productivity and then puts the truth underneath it. I thought I would pass on these twelve myths about productivity. Not all of these impacted me equally, but I found #1, 2, and 9 to make me think carefully about my approach to productivity.
Myth #1: Productivity is about getting more done faster.
Truth: Productivity is about effectiveness first, not efficiency.
Myth #2: The way to be productive is to have the right techniques and tools.
Truth: Productivity comes first from character, not techniques.
Myth #3: It is not essential to give consideration to what God has to say about productivity.
Truth: We cannot be truly productive unless all our activity stems from love for God and the acknowledgment that he is sovereign over all our plans.
Myth #4: It is not essential to make the gospel central in our view of productivity.
Truth: The only way to be productive is to realize you don’t have to be productive. [What Perman means is that we need to realize that we are fully accepted in Christ.]
Myth #5: The only way to be productive is to tightly manage yourself (and others!).
Truth: Productivity comes from engagement, not tight control; when we are motivated, we don’t need to tightly control ourselves (or others).
Myth #6: The aim of time management should be our peace of mind.
Truth: Productivity is first about doing good for others to the glory of God.
Myth #7: The way to succeed is to put yourself first.
Truth: We become most productive by putting others first, not ourselves.
Myth #8: We will have peace of mind if we can get everything under control.
Truth: Basing our peace of mind on our ability to control everything will never work.
Myth #9: To-do lists are enough.
Truth: Time is like space, and we need to see lists as support material for our activity zones, not as sufficient in themselves to keep track of what we have to do.
Myth #10: Productivity is best defined by tangible outcomes.
Truth: The greatest evidence of productivity come from intangibles, not tangibles. [By intangibles he means relationships developed, connections made, and things learned.]
Myth #11: The time we spend at work is a good measure of our productivity.
Truth: We need to measure productivity by results, not by time spent working.
Myth #12: Having to work really hard or even suffer in our work means our priorities are screwed up or we are doing something wrong.
Truth: We will (sometimes) suffer from our work, and it is not sin.