“How are you doing?” “I am doing well but keeping busy.” This is a typical response in our fast-pace culture. Sadly, we can tend to pride ourselves in our busyness, believing we are productive when we may not be. If busyness does not equate to productivity, how can we know if we are being productive? Thanks to Tim Challies and Cruciform Press, we now have an answer. In his book, Do More Better Challies gives us a concise and practical guide to a Christian understanding of productivity.
The greatest contribution this book gives to the reader is its certain Christian understanding of productivity. Throughout the book, the Christian perspective is represented in two specific ways: the practice of stewardship and the purpose of the productivity. The two elements show up in the definition of productivity as “effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God” (Challies 16). Stewardship permeates every area of life and calls us to faithfulness in our responsibilities (Challies 29). As one who studies the importance of biblical stewardship, I greatly appreciate this. Likewise, I am grateful for Challies’ emphasis on the purpose of productivity: for the good of others and the glory of God (Challies 26, 39, 78, 91). Too often, productivity seeks the narrow view of improving one’s own life for one’s own sake. For the Christian, they must understand they exist for something more. Challies points us to what that “something more” is.
A second commendation for Do More Better is the importance for organization. The book guides the reader to write mission statements for each area of responsibility and to be willing to say “no” to items and tasks which do not fit within those missions (Challies 40). Throughout the book, “a home for everything, and like goes with like” is repeated, stressing organization. Along with the idea of organization are priorities (Challies 92-93). Both organization and priorities are essential to a productive life.
For these two reasons (and many more), I wholeheartedly recommend Do More Better by Tim Challies to any Christian who seeks to live a productive and fruitful life. That said, there are three qualifiers for the reader. First, the content of the book encourages technology-driven productivity. If you are not planning on using technology for task management, scheduling, and information, this book will not benefit you as greatly. Secondly, if you plan to read this book but not apply it to your life, you are wasting your time. This book again and again implores you to apply what you are reading to your own context. Third, and lastly, this guide to productivity requires commitment and maintenance daily and weekly. If you are comfortable using technology, planning on applying the content, and are willing to persevere, be sure to purchase your copy of Do More Better by Tim Challies.
I received a PDF copy of this book for free from Cruciform Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review, but an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.