The Most Helpful Book on Productivity

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I am a big fan of being more productive, organizing your life for effectiveness and I’m always on the lookout for a helpful book in this area. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman is one of the best books on this topic.

What sets this book apart from others on productivity:

  1. Its emphasis on understanding how the gospel impacts productivity.
  2. How the gospel frees us to be productive.
  3. It also brings together some of the best ideas from other books on productivity to show a better system that combines the strengths of different systems.

If I had one criticism about the book, it would be how much time he spent convincing the reader that it is biblical to be productive. I know why he did this and the reasoning is sad: Christians seem to think productivity, organization or systems are unbiblical and have no place in the church. Sadly, this is why most churches are ineffective and why business leaders often feel like they don’t fit in churches.

One of the best reminders I took from this book and it immediately changed my stress level was planning my day in advance. I tried doing this the night before, but I then laid in bed thinking about the coming day. I now spend my first 5-10 minutes each morning at my desk, praying through and thinking through what I need to accomplish and list what is most important and remove everything else from my calendar or to-do list for that day.

If productivity is a struggle for you, or if you want to take your productivity to the next level, I’d highly recommend checking out this book. You won’t regret it.

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5 Things Productive People do in the Morning

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Productivity is something everyone would like to raise in their life. To accomplish more is a goal most people have. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on time management, productivity, cutting things out of your life and how to step your game up. It seems like productive people accomplish more than everyone else and it isn’t because their life is easier or they have more hours in the day. They do specific things that everyone does not do.

Here are 5 things productive people do in the morning:

  1. Make their bed. I came across this from Admiral William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who commanded the operation to capture Osama Bin Laden. He says, “Start every day making your bed, which was the first task of the day at SEAL training. If you do so, it will mean that the first thing you do in the morning is to accomplish something, which sets the tone for the day, encourages you to accomplish more, and reinforces that little things in life matter. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made–that you made,” McRaven said, “and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
  2. Read. Productive people read in the morning. It might be the bible, a leadership book, but something that will grow them. This is pouring into themselves so they have more to give to others. In this time, they don’t check their email. It seems the most productive people check their email either at lunch or a few hours into work. You’ll see why in #5.
  3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and starts thing off well. Productive people not only eat breakfast, but they eat a high protein breakfast. That means, no cereal. You will be hungry in an hour and then spend the day snacking, which will hurt your health and you’ll end up eating too much sugar and you’ll feel it in the middle of the afternoon.
  4. Exercise. I could also say they get a good night sleep, but that isn’t necessarily a morning thing. Productive people do get better and more sleep than unproductive people. They go to bed at a decent time (usually the same time each night) and get up at the same time each morning so their life is more routine. By getting up early enough, they exercise. This helps to clear your head, get your blood flowing and get ready for the day. It also allows you to make sure exercise happens as it is easy for the day to get away from you or your evening to be busy.
  5. Plan your day. All of us have known the feeling of our day getting away from us. That doesn’t happen to productive people. They don’t waste time. They don’t sit in meetings they shouldn’t be in, they check their email on their time table, not someone else’s. The first thing I do after reading in the morning is list the 2-3 most important things I need to accomplish in a day and then strive to do those things.

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Links for Your Weekend Reading

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Patrick Lencioni on The healthiest organizations win.

A healthy organization is one that maintains a cohesive leadership team, establishes clarity about what it stands for, communicates that clarity repetitively, and puts in place processes and systems to reinforce that clarity over time.

 How one church is using orderliness to attract millenials.

Jen Wilkin on Daughters and dating and how to intimidate their suitors.

Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. Be assured that your daughter is paying attention. And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. And that means building a wall. Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media is that that they have to be as tech savvy as their kids. Why is that a lie? Because you will NEVER be as tech savvy as your kids.

Thom Rainer on 10 tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

Pastors are thus expected to “run the race” constantly. But how can a pastor keep the pace in this marathon of ministry without burning out? How can a pastor remain productive with such demands? Allow me to offer ten tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

6 Tips to getting a better night sleep.

OK GO new song (Always blown away by the creativity of this band and this is incredible)

My blog will be moving in a few weeks and I don’t want you to miss anything. Simply click here to subscribe via email so that I can serve you better and continue to help you grow to become who God created you to be.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Trevin Wax on The uselessness of twitter battles.

Twitter is a place for conversation, but once we go into battle mode, I think the legitimate conversation is already over. Twitter battles are like putting on a spectacle for the perverse pleasure (or dismay) of the Twitter audience. Has anyone watching one of these debacles ever said, “You know what? You convinced me! I’m wrong and you’re right.” No one. Ever.

21 ways to perk up your productivity.

Chuck Lawless on 10 ideas from wise leaders.

Give your family veto power over your schedule.  He’s an incredibly busy man, but he somehow manages his schedule well. Here’s what he taught me: involve your wife before you make a commitment that requires you to be away from home after work hours. Be prepared to change your schedule if your family says, “We need you at home.” You’ll be less likely to lose your family in the midst of busyness if they have opportunity to help you plan your schedule.

Denny Burk on How to deal with false teachers.

Not every purveyor of false teaching is a lackey of the Devil. We have examples in scripture where bona fide believers are the source of error in the church. Apollos was a man mighty in the scriptures who taught accurately about Jesus but who nevertheless was only familiar with John’s baptism. In Apollos’ case, his deficient teaching was an error of omission. He simply did not yet know the full apostolic message. Priscilla and Aquila came alongside Apollos and explained to him the way of God “more accurately” (Acts 18:26). Presumably, Apollos responded favorably to their correction such that Paul would later identify Apollos as a co-laborer in preaching the gospel (1 Cor. 3:5-9).

3 tips on being a friend of sinners.

If Jesus was a friend of sinners, we should be too, it seems — somehow, someway. And instantly, this discussion can drift into a much bigger one about Christians and culture and all that. But instead of going there, let’s just talk friendship for a minute. Friendship, which is not without its implications, is more practical and relevant than a primer on the church’s posture in society. So in that light, here are three tips on being a friend of sinners.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Today is the beginning of a different sort of week for me
  • I’m not preaching this coming Sunday
  • One of my targets to stay fresh in my preaching and leadership is to make sure I never preach more than 10 weeks in a row
  • Josh Watt, the student pastor at Redemption Gateway, in Phoenix is coming down as we kick off our brand new series All In
  • If you missed the last time Josh preached for us, you can listen to it here
  • You definitely do not want to miss it as Josh talks about our motivation for going All In and changing the world
  • It’s going to be a powerful morning
  • We’re also having one of our up and coming worship leaders lead worship
  • Which will be great
  • I’m excited for a different sort of week to be able to work ahead on our series called Change that is kicking off on Easter through the book of Galatians
  • Every desires change in their lives, but few ever see it
  • I think it will be very timely
  • So many great things happening at Revolution right now
  • I got to spend Friday evening with many of our Planet Rev volunteers at a training/thank you night
  • Love the passion they have for the families and kids of our church
  • It was also great interacting with the team that is heading up our search for a kids ministry leader
  • So excited to add this person to our team
  • Yesterday was a great day at Revolution as we wrapped up Fight
  • It was great spending 5 weeks speaking on manhood
  • Blown away by the response to this series from men and women
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here
  • Started reading a book on gospel centered productivity over the weekend called What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
  • I’m excited to get better at being more efficient and productive and thinking about it from a godlier perspective instead of “I want to accomplish more”
  • Last night, Katie and I tried a new place for date night: 47 Scott
  • Highly, highly recommend it
  • So good
  • Started putting together my crossfit box in my garage
  • Love working out at home
  • My kids even are loving doing crossfit kids
  • Time to get to it…
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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. 3 big opportunities busy pastors miss.
  2. Simone Richardson on Some thoughts on erotic romance books for women.
  3. 7 habits of a highly effective date night.
  4. Carey Nieuwhof on 9 great ways for leaders to use social media.
  5. Modesty and why it matters.
  6. Brian Howard on 3 ways to not miss out on real life.
  7. 7 ways to be more productive with your time.
  8. Jeff Brodie on How to know if your church is making daily progress.
  9. Brian Dodd on 10 things church volunteers wished their pastor knew.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Rebecca Watson on 6 ways to get more done. These are helpful ideas to be more productive.
  2. What churches can learn from Chick Fil-A.
  3. Thom Rainer on Millenials reject Christians fighting. I’m a pastor and I’m tired of Christians fighting, which makes me wonder how sick our culture is of it.
  4. 5 ways a pastor can handle people leaving their church.
  5. Will Mancini on How to reach 20-something’s. Great profile of what makes Austin Stone so strong.
  6. How Andy Stanley and Tim Keller preach to Non-Believers. Great profile of two great communicators.
  7. Brian Howard on How to find a great youth pastor. This is so true.
  8. An open letter to Mark Driscoll. This whole thing is sad that he would lie on social media to push his book forward.
  9. How to be leaders of meaning in an age of information overload.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Trevin Wax on Don’t give your child a trophy for losing. Couldn’t agree with this more.
  2. Regular bedtimes help kids behavior.
  3. John Piper on Hijacking your brain from porn.
  4. Thom Rainer on 7 reasons your church needs to go on a diet. Being simple is the one of the defining characteristics of Revolution Church.
  5. Ryan Williams on 8 things I learned as a young lead pastor.
  6. 10 productivity tips for pastors.
  7. Ron Edmondson on 5 tips to be a better dad this week.
  8. Sleep & productivity.
  9. Mark Driscoll on 7 sabbath killers.

Elevation Creative: I Have Decided

Links I Like

  1. Tim Challies on What sanctification is and is not. This is incredibly helpful. 
  2. Mark Driscoll on How to get things done. Helpful list on productivity. 
  3. Pete Wilson on 3 things every pastor should unlearn
  4. 4 myths attacking the church today.
  5. Ed Stetzer on Preach the gospel, and since it’s necessary, use words
  6. The idea of evangelism makes me uncomfortable

Links of the Week

  1. 5 reasons men cheat and how to stay faithful. This is based on a Gallup study and put out by Men’s Health. Interesting how biblical there 5 ways to stay faithful are and some good stuff to think about. The best thing Katie and I have done besides a weekly date night is setting up boundaries.
  2. Andy Crouch on the Ten most significant cultural trends of the last decade. Huge implications to ministry in the church as we try to reach the culture.
  3. Living gospel centered. You need to read this post.
  4. Watch this great video with Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talking about what living on mission looks like.
  5. Trevin Wax on Reframing the discussion on homosexuality and the Bible. This is one of the best things I’ve read on this topic. Wow.
  6. Rest and the pastor’s soul.
  7. C.J. Mahaney on What the bible says about productivity. This was a really helpful thing for me, lots of great things in this short e-book.
  8. Luke Simmons on Leadership development. Luke is a good friend and has been to Revolution several times to preach and he has some great insights.
  9. Perry Noble on 6 steps to overcoming obesity Part 1 and Part 2. I’ve shared my journey and struggle with my weight before and Perry is right on when he says being overweight is a spiritual issue first.
  10. 17 signs of a fast growing church.
  11. John Starke on Teaching children the gospel in everyday prayers.
  12. Church trends with Jim Tomberlin. This has been a great series by Tony Morgan on what leaders see as the coming trends in church, this one in particular caught my eye.