Don’t you often feel bogged down with too many things to do, and having too little time to do it? Don’t you often wish that you could do things quicker, so you could free time to do other things you really care about? And don’t you often wish you were more productive with the time that you are given but have no idea on where to get started?
1. What is the book about?
This is why Matt Perman, director of career development at The King’s College NYC and former senior director of strategy at Desiring God, has written this easy-to-read, and easy-to-understand book for Christians who yearn insight from Scripture on how to live productive lives by making the most out of their most precious resource – time.
Perman explores the collective knowledge and wisdom of many secular thinkers on the subject, taking what he finds helpful from their research, and with it constructs his own systems and approaches that radicalise the way modern day Christians think about the concept of productivity – in order that they can live lives that are more effective and less stressful than they should be in an information-saturated world.
2. What did I learn?
The first thing Perman taught me when I first stepped into the first few pages of his book, is that productivity does not necessarily mean being more efficient in doing things. Real productivity is knowing what the right things to do. Without spoiling too much of the essential contents of the book, he grounds his thesis on the authority of Scripture to show that we can know what are the right things to do by knowing who our identity is in God and what God has defined our purpose to be in accordance to our given identity.
Along with teaching his readers what the right things to do are, Perman also presents a very helpful and practical four-step approach on how to get these right things done: (1) define your mission and vision to know your direction in life and to prioritise what is truly important; (2) architect your life with structure that will enable you to place balance in your priorities; (3) reduce the list of things in your life that aren’t important to your core mission and vision; and (4) execute the tasks that align in your core mission by planning and managing your weeks well. Christians can utilise this ‘DARE’ model to maximise their productivity and effectiveness in their service to God and His purposes.
3. What did I enjoy?
Despite the relative thickness of this book (in my opinion, Perman could have been more concise with his points), it is a very light read, which reflects Perman’s intentionality to write to the masses of people who are tossed to-and-fro by the tides of everyday busyness. But what I love most is just how practical this book is in presenting you with proactive and effective ways to manage your working week, projects you want to do, and even the way you procrastinate!
4. Why should other people read it?
Whether you are a Christian or an unbeliever, or whether you are goal-driven or unambitious, you ought to read this book. All people who bear the mark of God’s image are given a divine identity and purpose given by God to which they are called to live out. This is especially true for Christians who are given the Great Commission to fulfill, in order that God’s kingdom will grow and that Christ’s name is glorified in all the earth. Our productivity in regards to producing fruit that contributes to this great cause really matters, and we will be held accountable to God for how we steward our time well for this cause.
Navigating through the busy tides of life has never been easy. But Perman has lightened the burden by doing all the work for you in this book to show you biblically what are the most important things to do in life in light of being a Christian, as well as how to do those important things properly in order to live a productive life.
If you invest your time in reading this book, you won’t just be saving more time or feeling less stressed through your week, but you will be living a much more fulfilling and satisfying life in light of living in accordance to the good design God has made you to be.