Jerry Seinfeld Doesn’t Want Credit For The Seinfeld Productivity Secret

Jerry Seinfeld Doesn’t Want Credit For The Seinfeld Productivity Secret

We often talk about the Seinfeld productivity secret: the notion that marking off a task or chore on a calendar creates a habit since you’re reluctant to break the chain. But Jerry Seinfeld himself? He finds it amusing that the idea is attributed to him. Plus: Seinfeld’s quick thoughts on motivation and meditation.

Picture: Getty Images

Seinfeld took part in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit today. Most of the discussion (as you’d expect) was about his comedy and TV career, but he did also offer a handful of thoughts about productivity. Specifically:

He doesn’t want credit for the ‘Seinfeld productivity secret’. As he explained when this was bought up:

This is hilarious to me, that somehow I am getting credit for making an X on a calendar with the Seinfeld productivity program. It’s the dumbest non-idea that was not mine, but somehow I’m getting credit for it.

Motivation comes from enjoyment. Asked how he avoided burnout, Seinfeld said the secret was to stop as soon as something wasn’t enjoyable:

I do feel very strongly in stopping the second I feel like I’m not excited anymore, whatever I’m doing.

Yeah, we know — that’s a much easier policy to pursue when your TV series has made you millions.

Meditation helps. Seinfeld is a big fan of meditation. The reason?

Meditation helps because it’s the ultimate way to rest when you’re working. It’s just as simple as that.

Also: Asked to name a favourite country, Seinfeld picked Australia as one of his top three (alongside Italy and Norway). Thanks Jerry!


  • Australia in the top 3, strange, he was quite vocal about disliking us shortly after the series wound up …

    • Heh. I remember that.

      And, well, I remember at the time that he was initially apparently pretty happy with the country, but the furor came about when he called Melbourne the ‘ass end of the world’. Which is a colourful way of saying in the middle of nowhere, which, y’know… to Americans. (The same nation of people who without a hint of irony will cheerfully name a competition the ‘world series’ then only have American teams in it. Which basically tells you everything you need to know about American opinion on foreign policy.)

      And if he sounded even the slightest bit resentful of the distance, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s like… almost a 24hr flight from NYC to Oz. 24hrs in a pressurized metal tube full of the recycled farts of a couple hundred people.

      But after the Melbourne snobs got up-in-arms about the ‘insult’ (instead of acknowleding that Oz is indeed the ass end of the world – a damn fine ass worthy of many hours of admiration and attention), yeah, there was some back-and-forth unpleasantness.

      Some of the wannabe-LA-Sydneysiders have probably since explained to Jerry that Melbourne is the metaphorical hipster of the nation, or he got to enjoy a few more trips here in the last twenty years and see what the hospitality is like when you haven’t just insulted the nation.

  • ” Seinfeld said the secret was to stop as soon as something wasn’t enjoyable ”
    What… you mean like my job / work ?

    • A pretty glib comment from Seinfeld really; I’m pretty sure he must have had moments of not enjoying being a comedian before he made it big.

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