3pp or bust is step 1. Assuming 3pp though, you've got options that can take you cleanly into t4 or even t3.
First: the 3pp archetypes are often great help. DSP's Gambler and Avant-Guard are massive massive utility upgrades and far closer to the 'all day' concept. Gambler literally cashes out their built up burn into temporary power points, making them a wind-up blaster with some attached risks. Surprisingly AoE capable too. Avant-Garde not only fixes many of the problems of the kineticist but also provides them with a handy-dandy tank (astral constructs more or less all the time).
The Porphyra and Legendary Kineticists are also a hell of a start in many cases. Legendary 2 has literally "legendary kineticist" which is basically 'unchained' version. It's better. Much better.
Why avoid the 1pp archetypes? Go read up Overwhelming soul, and talk to me again when your hand and that wall have healed back up.
Even elements want 3pp support: Wood is complete fucking trash in 1pp-only, and void not far behind. Porphyra in particular brings us Light (fucking excellent), Time (fucking excellent), Sound (fucking excellent), Viscera (fucking excellent), Poison (actually acid mostly but gets some interesting burn parallels with fire), and a fuckton of new combos for them including 3-burn composites (read those prereqs VERY carefully if you want to pull one off starting at 7th...) that don't have the shitty "half fire half electrical, double resists, double immunities, aw yeah" of many 2-burn composites. But the wild talents are the most important thing there, as they're what let you make void good (from underwhelmingly unimpressive) and wood good (from complete crap).
There's even a machine element out there... And it's not bad at all...