Productivity: Don’t Break the Chain

Came across this productivity method via Lifehacker last month – they called it the “Seinfeld Method,” since the comedian uses the chain approach to maintain his daily writing habit.

Here’s what you do:

–       get a big ass wall calendar – the kind with the whole year on one page

–       get a big ass red magic marker

–       for each day you do your task, you get to put a big red X over that day

–       after a while, you’ll have a chain – keep at this and it will grow longer every day

–       DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN!

Image

The idea is that daily action builds habits. It forces you to practice, which makes you an expert…a la Malcolm Gladwell. Only 10,000 hours to go…

Well I’ve already blown through almost three months, but you have to start somewhere. I have more than one thing I need to do every day, though, so I might do a different colored X for each task. I know I need to work out every day – even if it’s only just a little bit to get the blood moving, so maybe that will be one chain. Writing every day – either blog or the book project I’m thinking of starting – will be another and then I guess cleaning/organizing will be the third.

Here are some links to chains and “habit calendars” if you want to learn more:

http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

http://lifehacker.com/5684566/the-habits-calendar-is-seinfelds-productivity-secret-on-steroids

http://www.two-shay.com/articles/habits-calendar

http://lifehacker.com/5890129/five-best-productivity-methods

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