In his book “Deep Work,” author and professor Cal Newport shares the productivity advice that software developer Brad Isaac had received from comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
This happened in the early days of the Seinfeld show when Seinfeld still regularly toured. And it was during this time that Isaac ran into Seinfeld at an open mic comedy club and asked him if he had any advice for an aspiring comedian.
Seinfeld told Isaac that the secret to becoming a successful comedian was to write great jokes. And the way to write great jokes, Seinfeld explained, was to write every day.
Seinfeld then told Isaac the simple method he used himself in order to help himself maintain the discipline needed to write jokes every day.
What did Seinfeld do? He kept a calendar on his wall.
Every day that Seinfeld worked on his craft as a comedian, he would cross out the date on the calendar with a big red X.
“After a few days, you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld said. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing the chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain. Don’t break the chain.”
This simple method that Jerry Seinfeld explained to Brad Isaac that day has become a method that many aspiring writers, entrepreneurs, and creators now use today as a way to build new habits into their life.
This method works because it breaks down your biggest goals into goals you can achieve today.
All you have to do is focus on making the next X.