Book Review: Do More, Better

Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

Rating – Add it to your list (for most); probably not worth the time (for people already well organized)

Level – Readable, short, step-by-step approach

Summary – It is really difficult to write a summary that doesn’t just rip off the table of contents. Basically, he explains the system that works for him. This includes a mission statement (he calls this a productivity catechism), then finding things that get in the way of your productivity and finally the tools to tackle the problems.

I want to focus on the tools here, because in the month or so that I’ve read this book, I’ve tried to adopt them all. The first tool is a basic task manager. He recommends Todoist, and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. It’s very intuitive and I use it multiple times a day. The price of the book may be worth this chapter alone. Second tool is a calendar; he recommends Google, it’s nice enough. I use a calendar for everything at work, but never tried to apply that idea elsewhere.  It’s been most helpful in keeping me aware of when I have time to do things and when I don’t; which, in turn, helps my task management.

The final tool, I still haven’t gotten a hold on. He calls it something to gather your information and recommends Evernote. I really like the web clipper extension, but haven’t found much else that is helpful, yet.

He wraps it up by reminding us that for the system to work, you must live on the system and you must maintain it consistently.

Review – I particularly like the lazy-busy excuse/productivity thieve; it hit close to home. There are many things I’d like to do (though I sometimes put it on God) and I wish I was more productive. After adopting the first two of his recommended tools, I’ve already noticed a difference. It sounds like a cheesy add, but not only am I getting more done, but I have more time. This book could be very helpful to anyone who needs a productivity boost.

Book Review: Just Do Something

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung

Rating – A must read

Level – Very readable, short.

Summary – Many people search for God’s will, but American Evangelicals, especially Millennials, have made it an art form. He claims that doing this ‘leads us to no where’ and calls us ‘directionally challenged’ (these are names of the chapters in the book). The basic point is that too many of us sit on our asses ‘waiting’ for God to have a perfect opportunity just fall on us. All this waiting means we don’t accomplish much. The essence of his book: trust God and Just Do Something. Another great takeaway is that God’s Will is about moral decisions. Where we live or which job we take is a non-moral decision.

Review – I found his sections regarding the life of his grandparents especially intriguing. Maybe because my granddads are also quite old and are believers. There is a great section where he asks one granddad about considering God’s will for his job. His granddad’s answer, he hadn’t really thought about that. He knew he needed to pay bills and he knew that required work, so he went and found some.

This book really challenged me on a very personal level.  I felt he was describing me in the parts about waiting to the point of doing nothing, waiting for God to make it happen essentially. He also talks of fear, and people hiding behind God. I believe that is part of my problem. I’m scared to take a risk, but it’s very easy to say, ‘It’s not God’s time, yet’ or something to that affect. While I had some specific convictions, I hope that it would challenge every Christian who reads it to do something.