Friday, September 28, 2012

The Seinfeld Calendar - Reading Plan


The most popular posts on this blog are by far the posts featuring Bible reading plans (or schemes as the say in the UK). This popularity does not primarily come from my active readership, but from visitors who find my reading plan posts from search engines etc. I hope these readers stick around, but even if they don't I'm happy to provide a service that may help people interact consistently with the powerful and life-changing Word of God.

I must confess I have been reading plan free for some months (Yes, this means I ditched my plan for 2012, but I did so intentionally. Grant Horner's system is not for me). I have read my Bible every day without fail, and I actually have been reading more of the Bible lately than usual. I like to read multiple chapters per day aloud, sometimes using Discovery Bible Study, margin notes and highlighting and sometimes just belting it out.

One habit I have picked up, however, is the use of a "Seinfeld Calendar." This happened when in a Church service I was asking the Lord some questions, and I heard a quotation of the whole chapter of Hebrews 12 go through my mind and heart. I have never memorized Hebrews 12. I realized that the Lord was getting my attention, and set myself to reading Hebrews 12 everyday, with the intention of continuing for two months.

The situation reminded me of a productivity tool used by the comedian Jerry Seinfeld called the "Seinfeld Calendar." The simple idea has been getting popular, and I thought it would be excellent to use for a Bible plan. Lifehacker supposedly features the original story explaining advice the writer personally received from the comedian before a stand-up routine:

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.
You can read the full story here. This simple tool has proved effective and easy for many, and I'm finding it effective as well. I originally discovered the Seinfeld Calendar through a facebook post to Seinfeldcalendar.com, a simple site which allows you to title and create your own Seinfeld Calendar (though printing from the browser refuses to work for me). The site features a simple format which you can see below.

You simply title the calendar with your goal, such as "Read Hebrews 12" or "Read Five Chapters of the Bible" or as I'm considering "Read One Book of GEPCo" (GEPCo is Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). I've been working on my Hebrews 12 Seinfeld Calendar for half a month. Simple really is better when it comes to productivity tools, and this is about as simple and elegant as it gets. Having trouble staying on task with your reading? Try a Seinfeld Calendar with your reading plan.



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