While writing my productivity ebook, The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting Stuff Done, I made a shocking discovery. It turns out sometimes the best tools are paper-based. I am a digital gal, so this is pretty hard to admit.
This "better on paper" productivity tool is called Don't Break the Chain.
Don't Break The Chain
Referred to as Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, “Don’t Break the Chain” is simple but brilliant.
It helps you establish habits (preferably good ones).
Here's an example. If you want to write every day, Seinfeld suggests you get a big paper calendar (year on one page) and stick it on your wall. Check out Calendarpedia for this.
Every day you write, put a big X on the calendar. After a few days, you'll have a chain. All you need to do is ensure you don’t break the chain.
It’s effective because it feels good to see the chain getting longer. It’s immediate, visual and encouraging.
A paper calendar or chart works best in this scenario because you don't have to reach into your pocket to see it.
After a while, though, you might stop noticing your calendar or chart. Try moving it to different locations to keep it visible.
A Freebie For You
I have created an A4 Don't Break the Chain 30 day printable for you. I'll be honest, a whole year freaks me out; a month at a time is good.
You can print the monthly chart out as many times as you like.
Get Your Freebie
To access your printable, complete the form at the bottom of this post and I will email it to you straight away.
Once you've got it, follow the process outlined below.
How To Use Your Don't Break The Chain Chart
- Print the chart.
- Write what you plan to do over the month in the box below the heading (for example "I will write every day for one hour for the next 30 days"). Be specific, but realistic.
- Decide on your start date and write dates in the circles (for example if you started on a Tuesday and it was the 7th of the month write a "7" in the second circle from the left in the first row, under "Tue"). Continue adding dates this way the cover your 30 days.
- Pin the chart up somewhere you can see it.
- Every time you do what you promised to, cross out (or colour in) the date circle.
- Don't break the chain!