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

Bob Baker
3 min readApr 29, 2019

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:

Don’t break the chain!

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.

Using this approach, you commit to taking one small action every day toward a bigger habit you want to develop.

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 …

Commit to doing your art, music, writing, or whatever every single day.

No exceptions.

Even if it’s for just five minutes.

Seriously.

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.

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Bob Baker

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