A young comic asked Jerry Seinfeld for some tips.
What he got turned out to be advice that he has used all of his life. The young comic was Brad Isaac and he wrote about this exchange in an article for lifehacker.com. This is advice that can work for anyone. See if it’s something that you can use.
Here’s the gist of what Jerry told him.
Whatever you are doing in life, you’ve got to get better at it in order to move up. In comedy, to be a better comic, you’ve got to have better jokes. The only way to have better jokes is to keep writing them. Step-by-step, day by day, you’ve got to stay on track and keep improving. When you are self-employed, the problem is it’s hard to keep yourself on track. Here’s how Jerry solved the problem.
He told Brad to get a big wall calendar and a big red magic marker.
Jerry told him every day after he completed his writing to make a big red X on the date. Every day you do your work and you add another X, creating a chain of Xs. That’s how Jerry put himself to work and kept himself on track.
It seemed simple enough, so Brad gave it a try. Soon the red Xs turned into a chain that grew longer each day. It made him feel proud; it made him feel like he was getting somewhere. And just like Jerry, Brad’s whole focus was on not breaking the chain.
Don’t break the chain!
Not only did Brad copy the technique, but he also wound up using it in many different areas of his life. He used it for learning new skills, working out, and even building businesses. All he focused on was continuing to move forward…step-by-step making progress, not letting anything stall him out or get him off target.
This game plan obviously paid off for Seinfeld, it paid off for Brad…why couldn’t it work for you?
It doesn’t matter what technique you use. You just need some way of holding yourself accountable on a daily basis.
I used a thing I called the Activity Jar. It had two purposes. First, it kept me on track. Second, it got me mentally organized to produce regularly. It became habitual; it became instinctive. It changed my business DNA. I only did it for 90 days, but it revolutionized my business and formed the foundation for everything I did moving forward after that. Because I was organized on the things that produced growth, it made it easier for me to keep everyone around me focused on the same things.
You can watch my video on the Activity Jar here which explains exactly how it works.
Read Brad Issac’s full article about Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret here.
Remember – If you want to move up, don’t break the chain!