A new app for the iPad and iPhone, Lift, may be just the mind hack to help your productivity—or any other number of things that you want to do each day, like exercise.
Lift is an app that helps implement Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break the Chain” method. If you’re not familiar with it, the story goes something like this:
A fellow comedian asked Jerry Seinfeld how he could write better jokes. Seinfeld explained that to write better jokes, you have to write every day. Seinfeld said he gets a large monthly calendar and puts it on the wall. Every day he writes, he gets to put a big red X through that date on the calendar. After a while, according to Seinfeld, you have a chain of red Xs, and your brain likes to see it. All you have to do is not break the chain.
One of the problems with Seinfeld’s method is that it works for only one thing. Many of us have more than one thing that we want to do every day. While putting multiple calendars on the wall is one option, the Lift app lets you put in multiple goals. Each day you can “check in” to show you’ve done that item for the day.
Lift also lets you see your progress in a pseudo-calendar form, along with the length of your streak.
When you consider that this app is free, it’s hard to pass up. Whether your goal is to exercise every day, return all client calls before leaving the office, or just remembering to say thank you to your staff, Lift can help you out. The app isn’t perfect (some feel it’s too “social,” but I just ignore that part of it), but it’s the best looking and most useful one I’ve found in this genre.
The app is designed for the iPhone (it’s not universal), so it may look a little jaggy if you use it on an iPad at full screen size. On my third gen iPad, it looks quite acceptable.