This is a book review on Every Day Matters by Brandon D. Crowe.
It is no secret that we live in a world that praises hustle culture and the bustle of life. But if we are being honest with ourselves, that kind of lifestyle can be quite draining and not sustainable. Brandon D. Crowe wonderfully crafted in his novel what it looks like to be productive from a biblical standpoint. Crowe breaks down the need for productivity by connecting it back to Scripture while also providing the reader with their own actionable steps to take.
Once I started this book, I could not put it down and read it all in one sitting. Therefore, this review will be mostly positive. I think anyone who reads this book will walk away with a new outlook on productivity and realizing the importance of making sure each day matters.
This book depicts how to steward our time in a way that displays peak productivity and honors God. Crowe helps the reader understand that productivity lies in more than just checking things off a to-do list.
THE FOUNDATION OF PRODUCTIVITY: PROVERBS VS. ECCLESIASTES
By looking at both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Crowe helped lay the foundation of what productivity is. I liked how he showed the difference between both books in reaching the ultimate intent behind productivity:
“Whereas Proverbs deals with applying the law of God in daily life, Ecclesiastes wrestles with the purpose of life.” – Brandon D. Crowe
Proverbs is the way we get practical wisdom for how to lead a productive life by showing that the wise are diligent in their work. Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, helps us recognize our limitations and that even though there are seasons we go through, each one can be used for the glory of God.
PRINCIPLES OF PRODUCTIVITY
The latter half of the book is more practical as Crowe gives the main principles of productivity. The ones that stuck out to me were: priorities, goal setting, routines, and rest/repent.
To know what our priorities are, we must look to Scripture to guide us. By identifying our Scriptural priorities, it opens up the door for us to identify our areas of responsibility.
“You need to identify the overall purpose of your life, in accord to Scripture, and be sure that your daily actions line up with it.” – Brandon D. Crowe
In this section, Crowe emphasizes that the best way to reach our goals is by taking small steps. Another important idea he introduced was having S.M.A.R.T goals. These are goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound. Setting your goals up this way ensures you the best way to complete your goals. For instance, in the novel, Crowe makes the point that if a goal of yours is to “live a healthier lifestyle”, make it more specific and say “workout twice a week.” or “eat one healthy meal a day.”
As someone who loves a good routine, this section was probably my favorite. Crowe touched on the importance of not just having a single routine, but rather have a personal routine that focuses on your spiritual well-being and physical health. As well as a work routine if applicable.
Crowe also stressed the importance that as seasons and time goes on our routines will look different, referencing back to Ecclesiastes. It is okay that our seasons/means of productivity will change. It is all a part of the flow of life.
“There is an occasion for everything and a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
REST, REFRESH, + REPENTANCE
While it seems like working all the time helps reach peak productivity, that is simply not the case. Rest is an important part of maintaining a productive lifestyle.
“To maintain an effective, productive lifestyle, you need rhythms of rest built into your schedule. Instead of working longer hours each day, you should aim to maximize your time devoted to working so that you have time to recover before the next day.”-Brandon D. Crowe (page 84.)
THE BEST PARTS
One part of this book I loved is that at the end of each chapter, Crowe had action steps based on what the chapter was on. This is great because even if you understood what the chapter was on but was not sure where to start, Crowe had a list of practical steps waiting at the end of the chapter.
I also enjoyed that even though this was an easy read, there was so much wisdom packed inside. I took many notes while reading.
Crowe did a great job also with helping the reader understand that this process to live a productive life will not happen overnight and not to beat yourself up if you slip up. But rather have grace with yourself and have weekly or quarterly evaluations to see what may need to change in your routines/lifestyle.
THIS BOOK IS FOR EVERYONE
All in all, no matter where you are in life: a student, a professional, single, married, etc., this book is for you. Crowe takes this broad idea of productivity and breaks it down in a way that leads you back to Scripture while also giving practical wisdom and application.
I know I will take what I learned from this book and implement it into my life. Pick up Every Day Matters to see that a productive life is more than what meets the eye, while also leading you back to the principles God has set for his people as it relates to living a balanced life of work and rest.