The new year is the perfect time to examine our habits and our work and to put into place new practices that will help us make 2018 better than 2017. In regard to upping our productivity in 2018, here are three books recommended by our Executive Pastor of Ministries, Jeremy Dager.
1. Do More Better – Tim Challies
Productivity can be an allusive beast. From the stay at home mom to the corporate executive to the pastor to the college student, we all want to know how to get more done in less time. With Do More Better, Tim Challies does not merely give theory but rather spends much of his time providing every day practical tools for productivity that can be applied broadly. Challies forces you to narrow down your responsibilities and then guides you in finding the right tools to fulfill these responsibilities to the fullest. These tools include task collection, calendar management, and information gathering systems that are easily accessible, readily available, and user friendly. If you’re looking to create new and healthy productivity habits in the New Year, Do More Better would be the place to start.
2. Essentialism – Greg McKeown
What if we could learn how to do whatever is essential and eliminate everything else? Sound impossible? Greg McKeown thinks not and in Essentialism he provides a comprehensive framework for how to create this thinking in your own life. Essentialism is the pursuit of less-but-better and pursuing it in a disciplined way. McKeown helps by forcing the reader to ask such questions as: is this the very most important thing I could be doing with my time right now? In sum, Essentialism rejects the notion that we can fit it all in, and instead, McKeown gives guidelines and routines for identifying our highest point of contribution and focusing there. If it’s time to make some changes, big or small, in your work/life habits, this book is a must read.
3. Deep Work – Cal Newport
We live in a very distracted world. And yet, we are expected (particularly in our work) to master very complicated concepts quickly. Furthermore, we are expected to produce a really good product. This can only be done by practicing a non-distracted—deep work—process. Those “who cultivate this skill (of deep work) and apply it will thrive in today’s market.” The Christian is called to be a worker and, although Newport’s book is not written from a Christian worldview, the principles gleaned from this book can help believers fulfill the creation mandate (Gen. 1:26) to its fullest. Newport gives four basic but paradigm-shifting rules for how to cultivate deeper, more meaningful work habits. These rules will both challenge your current routines as well as challenge your future practice of work.
-Jeremy Dager (Executive Pastor of Ministries)