Tim Challies, a brother whose work on the web I admire and appreciate, has a relatively new podcast called the Connected Kingdom (iTunes link). This week (episode 9) he hosted Matt Perman, the senior director of strategy for Desiring God. Matt blogs about productivity and other kingdom work at What's Best Next. The discussion between Tim and Matt this week will be a great interest to readers of this blog. These two godly men tackle many of the themes I've blogged about here, and do so from an intelligent, gracious, and measured way.
Here are some of the topics they discussed and the approximate timecode when each starts:
- Matt's testimony and recent biography (0:55)
- Defining productivity as getting the right things done (7:30)
- Risk of making efficiency and productivity functional idols (10:15)
- Productivity and list management software, and the "strange" mindset one can fall into (12:50)
- Getting Things Done (GTD) strengths and weaknesses from a Christian perspective (15:15) (includes incisive contrast around the 23-minute mark between the approach to peace of mind in GTD and Philippians 4)
- The value of forgetting, and the potential tyranny of lists (27:00)
- Recommended books (28:15) (includes helpful discussion about reading Covey with discernment)
- Life at Desiring God Ministries with John Piper on leave of absence (33:30)
- Gospel-oriented book on productivity Matt is planning to write in August (35:00)
Near the end of the episode, Matt mentioned that he is writing a book this summer on productivity in the context of the Gospel. That is a book that I have desired to write (and read!) for a long time, but which I've never believed God had called me to commit to. I'm thrilled that God has given a reformed brother like Matt that desire, and the resources to accomplish it. I will pray for him in this effort. Please do the same--the Church needs it!