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Asking Questions


What is Process Pairing?

7.5.2018 • 1 Comment

If you are reading this blog, I take it you have a love for learning. You love new book recommendations, new routines to try and new things to learn.

This is soo me.

And because of my love for knowledge and all things growth and goals, I can overwhelm myself and keep plowing through new content without letting it take root. This is actually the very reason I wrote my first book, The Finishing School.

Process Pairing | Val Marie Paper, analyze, information, data, processing, mind, margin, minimalism, brain space, routine, habits, goals, faith, blog

In this whole process of living led, not driven, I’ve been trying to slow down and let things sink in before jumping to the next thing. This concept keeps coming up other places as well. I’m talking, the Bible.

“[They] spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” – Act 17:21

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” – Ecclesiastes 12:12

If we are constantly seeking new ideas, everything is staying at a shallow level. I’ve been also learning a lot about our minds and how much multitasking and screens is hindering our ability to just think. 

Enter process pairing.

It’s not an actual real thing but what I’m calling this idea of pairing moments we learn with time to process it.

I struggle with this idea. I want to cram more and more in but I’ve been growing so weary of my own ambition and got to experience true rest during our month away (more on that soon!). Slowing down has been a bit painful but as I get deconditioned from my own hurry, I’m seeing real benefits from a mind that has space.

Just last night, I chose to not read a book during my nightly bath. Ummm. You have no idea how huge this is for me. This is one of my favorite ways to relax but as I sat there without an agenda, pages to read, theological discoveries to make, I found that giving my brain space to think really actually refreshed me.

I think the reason we don’t instinctively choose the “process phase” is because it looks like boredom. It’s much less sexy than a new book, blog post or new concept. It feels like the most boring use of my time, but what’s happening in my mind is truly amazing and something I need!

Process pairing is really simple.

  • Think of a moment that you will intake information.
  • Pair it with time to actually process it.
  • Then make it a routine.
Process Pairing | Val Marie Paper, analyze, information, data, processing, mind, margin, minimalism, brain space, routine, habits, goals, faith, blog
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Here are some examples of how you can incorporate this into your day. I’d love to hear any ideas you have as well.

QT and then PT

Instead of closing my Bible and moving to a new thing, I take it with me and ease it into the rest of my day as I do my stretches for PT.

WORK and then WALK

Instead of shutting my computer 10 seconds before I need to pick up my girls, I can debrief from the day. This likely won’t work for most others, but something I’m going to try.

BOOK and then COOK

Instead of switching gears to a podcast during cooking, I process (and can even pray about) what I read last as I chop veggies.

READ and then SOAK

Instead of reading in the bath, I read before and give myself some margin before bed for my mind to slow and process what I read.

LEAVE A COMMENT! I’d love to hear any ideas you have for things that would make natural process pairings in your life. Maybe it’s driving the commute home in silence and thinking about the workday.

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Comments (1)

I love this concept, Val! I have unknowingly been doing this the last few months while nursing. I used to always have my phone on me while nursing so I could continue to read, work or scroll social media (also part of work for me). When my baby started getting more alert and distracted while nursing, I ditched the phone in an effort to keep her more focused, but it turns out it’s been the biggest blessing for ME as it’s allowed me to now use that time to shut my eyes, process something I may have just read or been working on, and most importantly, pray!