Leave your gear set up

by Michael Bernstein on January 25, 2018

Want to get better at something or at least do it more? Make it as easy as possible.

I’ve been making music at home for a long time, and have been talking to people about making music at home for even longer. During that time, the single best piece of advice I’ve gotten from people I admire is this: leave your gear set up.

Buy my records pleaseBuy my records please

If you want to play more, or get better, or both, having everything all set up and ready to go will make you approximately 1,000,000 times more likely to actually do it. This is scientifically proven.

It occurred to me the other day that this idea potentially generalizes to a whole bunch of other things that people typically want to do more or get better at: exercising, writing, making pottery, whatever.

The basic idea is this: make it as easy as possible to just get started and you’ll be so much more likely to actually do it. For running, maybe that means setting time aside and setting your clothes and shoes out the night before. Writing? A quiet spot and fifteen minutes should be enough.

Ask yourself this:

What gear do I have stashed in the closet, messy and unplugged, that should actually be out and ready on my desk, ready to make my next hit?

Once you’ve got your answer, take tonight to set it up, and make tomorrow day one of a long, fulfilling streak.