The first part of the book was mostly about realizing the importance of time. I agree we need to be aware of the limited time we’ve got and protect it. Be mindful of how we’re spending our time, who we are hanging out with, and delegate whenever possible. I loved the “one-hundred-year-old plan for decision-making” idea — using your one-hundred-year-old self to make decisions. Essentially, what will you care about when you are on your deathbed? This could be a powerful tool to avoid frivolous activities like binge-watching TV shows or doom-scrolling social media sites. “Asking your future self to make decisions allows you to play the long game” and, of course, Mathew plays the long game.
He continues, “ The one-hundred-year-old version of yourself will tell you that a decade goes by in the blink of an eye. It’s nothing”. However, later in the book, he criticizes five-year plans. In fact, there is a chapter titled ‘Five-Year Plans are Inviting the Universe to Drop a Piano on You’. In this chapter he suggests “instead of a five-year plan, how about a six-month plan? Or a three-month plan?”
There were a few more contradicting points in the book. This is when I realized this book by a master storyteller, lacks storytelling (and humility). Though Matthew admits he hates to brag, this book felt like an endless brag trip. I’m sure he is amazing at everything he does, including meditation, as he claims in the book.
Someday Is Today started like a productivity book. Inspiring content enhanced by Matthew’s phenomenal anecdotes. You got to love his stories! The productivity tactics, however, became hardcore with stuff like taking a shower in 100 seconds, and always multitasking while in the shower. Eating Oatmeal for lunch every day for years. Emptying dishwasher in a specific order to save precious seconds. And finishing weekly grocery shopping at the supermarket in 23 minutes.
For some reason, the extreme productivity didn’t sit well with me. You can be mindful of time without living by a stopwatch. I’ve lived with most of Matthew’s rules (without reading the book) over the years. Factoring time into decision making, minimizing commute time, delegating tasks, and hiring virtual assistants for the ‘ten-cent tasks’ has been my modus operandi. But my life never felt like a navy-seal bootcamp. My day isn’t defined by a chronograph, in fact, my watch doesn’t have a seconds hand (sorry Matthew).
After the ‘how to get more done in your day like me’, Matthew does a Steven Pressfield. He suggests producing a large volume of work for getting better at the craft. Perseverance and accountability are crucial for creative pursuits, so there are chapters on that. Talking about his creative pursuits, he says:
“But the truth is that I’m a chicken. Rather than single-mindedly focusing on one subject, I am enormously interested in an enormous number of things. Like the number of projects I am working on, I am also constantly expanding my horizons in terms of subject matter, always looking for the next interesting thing.”
Once again this doesn’t align with his life mantra shared earlier in the book “Curiosity Kills Productivity: Cultivate Deliberate Incuriosity”.
I don’t think I’ll be finishing this book. The first few chapters in Part 1 were good, but it started to go downhill after that. For a more balanced take on productivity, I’ll recommend Four Thousand Weeks. It provides a more conceivable framework for time and productivity. Check out my summary of Four Thousand Weeks here, along with correspondence with the author.