A lot of us have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to getting things done – also known as perfectionism. If we can’t do something the way that we envision, why bother? We get this ideal in our heads of how things should be, and we struggle with settling for anything less than that.
Some of us will find that motivating and work toward that perfection, while others (like me) will give up before even trying.
But the thing with perfectionism is that even if we do pursue it, we don’t have the energy to sustain it. Even if you are able to perform at a level 10 with everything you do – there’s no way to keep that momentum going without experiencing burnout. At least, I’ve never seen it be done.
Enter my favorite way to combat this: The Priming Technique
I’ve crafted a concept of “priming” in order to prep, prepare, and set the tone for my days, so they’re easier to manage. Because sometimes when we try to do things all at once, we get bogged down and overwhelmed.
We use a primer to keep our makeup on point, for painting the walls of our home, but what about applying it to our lives?
As a woman who wears makeup, I appreciate a good primer for keeping my makeup intact. It sets the foundation so that when you add foundation or eyeshadow it stays on for hours.
I had this “aha” moment last night, when I spent a few hours setting up for my week on a Sunday and thinking about how much better I felt going into the next day when I’ve checked off priming tasks.
I think of priming tasks as the set-up tasks, the first step before you’re in the ‘doing’ process of getting a task done. So, let’s get into what the priming technique looks like and how to use it to be your most productive self.
How to use the Priming Technique
Separate your ‘prep’ tasks from your ‘do’ tasks. Make it so that they’re a two-part system, and your only goal is to complete the first step. A lot of times, I’ll have my priming be done on a different day than my doing tasks. That way, I can do multiple priming tasks in different areas of my life.
Priming is a mindset. You’re taking care of business, before actually taking care of the business. You’re basically helping out your future self, by setting up the foundations. Whether it’s laying out your clothes or prepping your food, you’re making the action step to complete later so much easier. You’re breaking down a bigger task, so that it feels like a no-brainer later when it comes to sitting down and completing it.
My favorite way to ‘prime’ is to spend my Sunday afternoon and evening dedicated toward getting my Monday (and beyond) ready to go. I love doing this on Sunday, because then I can start Monday in action mode. So instead of spending the first half of Monday trying to figure out my week, I already have it all mapped out from my Sunday priming work.
Things you can do to prime
Write Instagram captions
I’ll write down my IG caption ideas for the week. They don’t have to be perfect, but make it so much easier to complete and publish them during the week.
Organize, clean, declutter
A lot of times, to clean your entire apartment can take a while, but what if you simply organized (primed) on one day and did the finishing (vacuuming, dusting, etc.) on the following day? It’s a way to break it up, and make it feel more achievable.
Lay out your clothes
It’s one less decision you have to make in the morning – and we can all appreciate not having to figure out what to wear, even if it’s just sweatpants.
Create content outlines / screenshots
Need to write blog posts? Send out inquiries to guest writers? I’ll screenshot people who I want to reach out to for my pitching days, or create outlines for blog posts before I sit down to write them out.
Craft your to-do list
Write down what you want to get done (at least the top three things) so that all you have to do the next day is check them off.
Sort through your emails
Put them into the appropriate folders, so when you go to tackle your inbox, you know who needs an urgent reply and which action-items you still have to get to.
Get your workspace ready
Working from home? Make sure your space is all set for your workday, so all you have to do is grab your coffee and get to work.
Plan your workouts
When will you get in exercise this week? Make your game plan on when and where it’s going down.
Meal plan and grocery shop
Create a guide for your grocery shopping and make it easy on your week by picking up everything you need. Keep your meal plan on your fridge for easy reference.
Craft a masterlist of tasks for the week, based on your goals
Struggle to stay on top of your goals? Create a process where you check in on your monthly goals and add them to your calendar ahead of time.
Those are just some of the ways that you can start priming your days for maximum productivity.