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Ash RoyMay 6, 2013 10:38:04 PM3 min read

Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity hack and the streaks app

Build and maintain good habits

In this blog post I'll be talking about tools and strategies you can use to consistently work on building habits or breaking band ones. 

Building good habits, or breaking bad ones seems to have gone mainstream since James Clear released his book Atomic Habits

James' book one of the most valuable resources when it comes to building great habits. 

I spoke to James Clear about his book in a conversation on the Productive Insights podcast. I recommend checking out our conversation here

Daily Efforts for Bigger Rewards

One of the key ideas James talks about is the idea that small, daily actions lead to significant improvements over time.

As it turns out Jerry Seinfeld has used this method to build a stellar career in comedy.

His approach is to mark a calendar for each day of work. This emphasizes consistency and builds on the previous day's habits.

Don't break the chain 

I recently came across this very interesting article on the Lifehacker website and was reminded of the Streaks app – something I’ve been meaning to share with you for a long time!

In the article, Brad Issac talks about how he once met Jerry Seinfeld backstage and asked him the secret to his great material.

Jerry said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes. And the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

Jerry had a big yearly wall calendar and each day Jerry wrote, he put a big X against 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.”

Streaks App for Habit Tracking

Enter Streaks … an iPhone app that holds you accountable to your goals … and motivates you to keep the streak going.

The streaks app helps you keep track of your daily habits by encouraging you not to break the streak you're building.

This makes habit formation more engaging and visible (visibility is a key factor according to James Clear when it comes to habit creation)

Key Features of Streaks

The streaks app allows you to

  • Track multiple goals
  • View your progress (current and longest streaks)
  • Add personal notes 
  • Apply it to a wide range of habits from writing to quitting smoking.
  • Multiple calendars for multiple goals
  • Track your current, longest, and past streaks
  • Add personal notes to each day
  • Great for writing, exercising, quitting smoking, and any good habit you want to cultivate.

My experience with Streaks

I found that Streaks seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices, including my iPhone, my Mac, and Apple Watch

It syncs my habits across the various devices via iCloud and even connects with Apple Health Kit.

This allows automatic tracking of activities like steps, sleep, and workouts which is very useful since I like to track my sleep. One of the best productivity hacks it getting enough sleep in my opinion.

Despite its simplicity, I think the Streaks app provides detailed statistics on your habits, accessible with a tap on the star icon, showing completion frequency, days, and times.

It includes a basic note-taking feature for additional context to your tracking too. Marking a habit as done is quick, requiring only two taps, or even none if automatically tracked by your iPhone.

I like and recommend it.

Get the Streaks app at the iTunes store

Check out the Streaks for iPhone app live in the video below:


Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!