Friday, June 13, 2014

What's Best Next

What's Best Next is a book by Matt Perman. It is what I would consider a self-help, and other-help, book. To explain, the premise of the book is that it will help you get organized and set goals, and do both with the mind-set of helping others and following God. While I truly believe in many of the statements in this book, I did have some issues with it as well. First of all, I agree with many of the concepts in this book, and Perman makes valid points along the way. His basic argument is that in an age of technology and busy-ness, we need to stay organized and focused in order to do valuable work and accomplish goals. This is true. It is easy to get side-tracked with entertainment, technology and a "me first" mentality. He points out that if we are to be our best, we not only need to be organized and goal-focused, but we need to be sure what we do helps others too. The book has 24 chapters covering all of the ways we can do these things. To be honest, the issue I had with the book was that I felt a little overwhelmed. As Perman is trying to convince me I need to simplify my life and focus on what is best, he is also setting up a system of organization that seems heavy. According to his methods, I need to do things on a weekly and daily basis to be organized. I need to set a mission and clarify my roles in my life. I need to create routines that free up time and allow me to do some things automatically, with little thought. I need to eliminate or delegate less important items that are not on track with my personal (and biblical) mission. I need to create a weekly plan, which entails multiple lists and strategies, including project lists and action lists. To me, these are valuable ideas, but due to the length of the book and the multiple ways he addresses things, I became overwhelmed at the idea of setting all of these systems into place. I like the concepts, but I wish Perman had created a simple check-list with an overview of his ideas, and then spent time developing each one. That way, I could use the book more like a reference manual. At the end of the book, Perman does complete a recap of his information. I found this to be the most helpful part of the book. For me, I think his entire concept boils down to this one sentence in the recap, "The gospel teaches us that the good of others is the be the main motive in all that we do and the chief criterion by which we determine what's best next." In the recap, Perman provides good advice and a short outline of the basic ideas in his book. This was short, sweet, and direct. On a personal level, I found the book to be to encompassing for what I need in my own personal life. I will adapt some of his ideas, such as the action lists and focusing on helping others. However, most of the ideas seemed more directed at businesses to me. I would recommend this book to those who are managing other people or need to help develop leaders in their organization. It was worth a read, but I only pulled a few things from the book for my own personal use. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”