A Productivity Secret from Seinfeld (and Convicts)

Last Updated Dec 29, 2010 10:00 AM EST

Sometimes the best ideas come from the most unlikely places. You might think that business books and blogs are the right places to look for insights on productivity, but for one entrepreneur the solution to his troubles was staring out at him from his television.

Lifehacker has a post for those concerned about keeping their New Year's resolutions that takes its inspiration from an unexpected source -- Jerry Seinfeld. The comedian once explained a low tech but effective productivity secret to software developer Brad Isaac, and now Isaac is sharing it with the world:
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."
"Don't break the chain," he said again for emphasis.
The idea might remind you of convicts checking off the days until release, but Isaac swears it's worked for him. "I've used it for exercise, to learn programming, to learn network administration, to build successful websites and build successful businesses," he claims and notes that in the long term small, consistent action beats a few bug pushes to meet your objectives. Do you think this simple solution might work for you?

(Image courtesy of Flickr use Alan Light, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.




Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.