Is “What’s Best Next” a statement or a question?
It’s first of all a statement. It’s about that which is best next, which is doing the will of the Lord (Ephesians 5:15-17).
And what is the will of the Lord? We know that what Jesus wants from us is love. So that’s what’s best next—love—and that’s the heart of What’s Best Next (the book) and What’s Best Next (the organization). All of our actions need to be grounded in love—first, in terms of our motive (the good of the other person) but also in terms of how we make decisions at all.
This is often overlooked: love is not just our motive in what we do, but is also supposed to be the guiding principle by which we decide what to do. What is best for the other person? That’s the question love asks, and therefore that’s the guiding principle of productivity. You don’t make choices based on what’s best for yourself next, but you make the welfare of the other person the motive and criterion for deciding what to do.
And so “what’s best next” is, second of all, also a question. We have so many things coming our way constantly. We have almost limitless options and opportunities, and a massive amount of information to deal with every day. How do we make good decisions in the midst of this age of unlimited options? “What’s best next?” is a question we can use to help guide us. The point is that you don’t need to do everything that’s next. You just need to do what’s best next.
A core principle of productivity is to do what’s most important first. So when you have a thousand things to do, stop and ask “what’s best next?” Then do that. Likewise, don’t do what’s easiest next; do what’s best next. This is a question we can continually use to guide our daily work.