When you prime, you are getting ready for another activity. The verb takes its name from a biochemical process in which you use a material to get ready for a polymerization process… like preparing a surface with a primer before you paint it. The idea here is that there is an step that readies for the final product.
In life we tend to roll from one thing into the next. “While I am finishing this email I will pick up the phone and take a call.” In most instances we shift from one to the next as if we could instantly transition. But, in truth we cannot. There is always an adjustment period, even if it’s tiny. And the new activity pays the price, getting off to a start without your full attention or engagement.
When you have something especially important to do, like talk to a family member or lead an important meeting, consider taking the time to transition between events and prepare for what’s to come. If you were going to talk to your partner, you might just take a minute before you begin and imagine what is most important to you about the interaction – is it the outcome? the connection? the importance of the topic?
Every morning I do a priming exercise. I take a number of deep breaths, center on my heart, give grattitude for all that is right with my life, and then I think about what is most important for me to accomplish in the day ahead. The whole process takes me about 10 minutes.
You will be amazed at how much better results you get with a short pause and a moment to acknowledge what you hope for. It’s one of those little things you can do that gets big results.
– Seneca the Younger