Don’t break the chain

Years ago, Brad Isaac was working as a stand-up comedian. One night Brad saw Jerry Seinfeld at a comedy club and asked him if he had any advice for a young comic. Read Jerry’s advice and how this applies to learning Excel!


Jerry Seinfeld’s Advice to Brad Isaac

Taken from Brad Isaac’s Lifehacker post:

One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetimeHe 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. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.


Jerry Seinfeld’s Calendar System:

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works. 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.









Brad Implemented Jerry’s Advice:

Over the years I’ve used his technique in many different areas. I’ve used it for exercise, to learn programming, to learn network administration, to build successful websites and build successful businesses. It works because it isn’t the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. You may have heard “inch by inch anything’s a cinch.” Inch by inch does work if you can move an inch every day. Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will make you an expert in a short time. If you don’t break the chain, you’ll start to spot opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t. Small improvements accumulate into large improvements rapidly because daily action provides “compounding interest.”



Learning Excel

Jerry advises comedians to write jokes every day. It’s the same for learning Excel. Learn every day.

More important than finding the perfect course of book is consistently putting in the effort. We will miss a few days but there should be several stretches of consecutive Xs on our calendar.



Spreadsheet or Calendar?







A calendar on your wall might be better than a spreadsheet. A calendar is highly visible.

However, if you want to analyze your data then a spreadsheet could be helpful. You could flip through the months on your calendar and see your progress but a spreadsheet provides more insight.

If your goal is to be an Excel expert why not use Excel to monitor your progress!



My Excel Spreadsheet

Here is my Excel template. Feel free to modify it 🙂



About Me

Yes, I’m a big Seinfeld fan. In March I was on vacation in New York City. I stopped by Tom’s Restaurant and took a few pictures.

We can use Jerry’s “Don’t Break the Chain” advice for learning Excel. Create a plan and work at it every day!

Visit my recommended Excel Training page.


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