Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Chain

August 10th, 2007  |  Published in Habits  |  2 Comments

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Turning a goal into a habit is all about consistency. When we start to do something as part of our routine, it becomes a habit, but the hard part is to incorporate it into our routine. This can apply to our own personal daily goals or anything we want to start doing on a regular basis. Lifehacker.com explains Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, which is as simple as a calendar and a marker. For example, if I my goal is to read the scriptures every day, I make a big red X in the box for today when I’ve accomplished that goal.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

When I started this blog, I made it my own personal goal to have one post every weekday. As you can see, once that chain got interrupted it became a whole lot easier to skip writing. I’ve now got a calendar and a marker near my desk so that I can more easily highlight my accomplishments. I’ve renewed this effort, because I want to see that chain grow.

I personally recommend using a paper calendar, but others may prefer a web calendar. Whichever you choose, make sure that your calendar is in a place where you can refer back to it easily.

Update:
A quick, easy-to-use task manager Joe’s Goals has added this functionality into its system. Read more about how they use Productivity chains.

Responses

  1. Beth says:

    September 27th, 2007 at 9:14 pm (#)

    So I have been thinking about this post ever since you wrote it. The technique seemed ridiculously simple, but I have tried it out — and added in the fact that my husband is working on the same goal (just a little competition, heh!)

    I have now established a daily habit that hasn’t been broken for FIVE weeks. Several times this week I realized that I would fallen out of the habit that day were it not for the fact that I just couldn’t break my chain; I had to color in my square for the day.

    It works! Thanks for the tip!!

  2. Daisy Chain » From Goal to Habit says:

    November 5th, 2007 at 4:26 pm (#)

    [...] it out of habit — and that habit will become part of who you are. My brother blogged about the same thing a few months ago, citing Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity chain. (Did you catch that? I’m [...]

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