1. Effectiveness trumps efficiency.
Perman shows us that sometimes efficiency gets in the way effectiveness.
“Sometimes a concern for efficiency undercuts what really matters.”
When we are seeking to glorify God sometimes the most efficient thing is not the most loving thing. Efficiency rarely works with people.
Fellow campus minister Neil Walker wisely has said that we are to be efficient with tasks but not people. Perman says,
“Efficiency [is] getting more things done faster. While efficiency is important, it is secondary. More important than efficiency is effectiveness”
Godly effectivness comes when you are doing the right things in a way that is honoring to God and loving to people.
Sometimes in the quest for efficiency we lose sight of the real motivation for productivity .
2. Our motivation for productivity should be honoring God and serving others.
“Productivity is first about others, not ourselves. A radical concern for others is to be at the heart of our productivity and at the heart of everything we do every day”
When we are living for Christ and others then it changes how we do what we do. We will be more willing to sacrifice our agenda and serve.
“Avoid a self-protective mindset and take pains to do good for others. We are to do good even if it requires a sacrifice on our part.”
We are to be passionate about being productive in our work because it is our method of serving God and others the way only we can!
3. Every week schedule blocks of time for what is most important.
“Blocks of work time allow me to dive deeply into things without worrying that I will neglect important meetings and appointments and emails.”
One of the greatest take away from the book was that it is better to live by a routine than a list. Perman uses the acrostic DARE to summarize his method organizing his time.
Define: Know your mission, vision, and roles.
Architect: Weave these things into your life through a flexible schedule.
Reduce: Get rid of the things that don’t fit.
Execute: Make things happen every day.
He wisely tells us, “Don’t prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.”
“You need to design your days with large stretches of uninterrupted time for important work… If there is any one ‘secret’ of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.” Concentration saves time.
Planning your week every week will allow you to be success in blocking out the time you need for effective work.
“THERE IS ONE SIMPLE PRACTICE that, if you do nothing else, will keep you on track. That practice is weekly planning… Don’t skip planning, even when you are super busy. The biggest reason that people skip planning is because they are busy. This is a trick. Feeling busy is the reason you ought to plan.”
4. Reduce the amount of things you have to do.
Perman gives a genius acrostic that helps in reducing the amout of things we have to do.
- Delegate – get someone else to do it.
- Eliminate – don’t do it at all.
- Automate – find a way to do it automatically.
- Defer – do it later.
5. Decide “what is best next” to do and fully focus on accomplishing it!
“The human brain simply cannot focus on two things at once. God is the only multitasker… So what are we actually doing when we think we are multitasking? We are actually switchtasking. That is, we are switching back and forth between tasks.”
Trying to multitask is one of the greatest barriers to productivity in our generation. It often leads to procrastination because we get distracted with less important things.
Perman suggests a very helpful practice to help avoid procrastination.
“In cases in which you are most significantly tempted to procrastinate, the best thing to do is procrastinate positively: do nothing. Not something else, but nothing. This will help you avoid “procrastination in disguise.”
Focusing completely on what the most important tasks ensures you get your priorities done and gives you more time for the less important things as well!
There are many more practical tips that I don’t have space to go into in this post so I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book.
You have one chance to make the most of the life God has given you!
“What’s Best Next” can help you make the most of it!