Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Hack: Don’t Break the Chain!

When Jerry Seinfeld was an up-and-coming comedian, he made a commitment to write one joke a day.

Not an entire routine or monologue. Just one funny line.

He had a big calendar of the whole year on a wall in his apartment. Every time he wrote a joke, he put a red X on that date.

Before long he had a growing chain of red X’s on the calendar — a visual reminder of the consistent work he put in.

Seinfeld once shared the story of his calendar and the chain of red X’s with a young comic. His main advice:

Do something related to your craft every day, no matter how small the action is.

This idea dovetails perfectly with “tiny habits,” a popular concept that’s been making the rounds in recent years.

For instance, if you want to run a marathon, you would simply commit to running ten yards today. That’s all. Then run ten yards again tomorrow, and the next day, etc.

Even in the freezing cold of winter, someone could run ten yards every day. Easy.

And that’s exactly how you become a serious contender in your field …

No exceptions.

Even if it’s for just five minutes.


If you’re really tired tomorrow and don’t feel like doing it, take five minutes and do it anyway.

Get out the sketchpad, pick up the guitar, open the file of the book you’re working on. Spend a few minutes engaged in your craft.

If you end up spending more time on it, great. But at the very least, follow through on your five-minute commitment.

And do it every day.

I mean it.

I guarantee, this tiny habit will gain momentum and expand. You’ll soon discover there is time to devote to your craft on a daily basis.

If you really want to cement this practice, buy an annual wall calendar like Jerry Seinfeld did.

Mark off each day that you lived up to your time commitment. Watch your chain of red X’s grow.

And then don’t break the chain!

I’d love your thoughts on this!

What do you do to remain consistent? Would this help you become more prolific with your creative output?

Please leave a comment, give this article a clap or five :) and share it with someone who would benefit from reading it.

This is Day 14 of my 30-Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Bob Baker helps musicians, authors, artists, and creative entrepreneurs use their talents and know-how to make a living and make a difference in the world!

Listen to his Creative Entrepreneur or Music Marketing podcasts.

Check out Bob’s books on Amazon, subscribe to his YouTube channel, follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

My mission in life is to inspire & empower people through audio affirmations, guided meditations, books, podcasts, music, art, coaching, and improv comedy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store