Former procrastinators, we know about bacon and eggs, cake and ice cream, a good book and a cozy blanket. Some things just go together. They pair up well. We can take advantage of pairing to facilitate chores we need to do – but more importantly, to make faithfulness to God and the pursuit of His callings our routine.
Pairing is hooking one thing onto another that we already have going. This reminds us to do the second thing and pretty soon they’re a natural pair. It’s a pleasant way of getting things done and often turns something we’d put off into something we look forward to doing.
The safety program that promotes checking our smoke detectors when we change our clocks has paired that task with “spring forward, fall back.” We can maximize the same approach.
Some like to pair a task they don’t like with one they do. A mom told me she felt alone and disappointed in the kitchen after dinner. She turned that into time she treasures by pairing clean up with prayer and praise.
Here are some ideas to shift your own into gear:
- Pair early rising with even 15 minutes of writing, painting, or whatever the Lord has prompted you to pursue.
- At the top of the stairs, I think “Stretch first.” It makes going down much less creaky! One man stretches while waiting for the coffee to brew – also a good time to unload the dishwasher.
- A mom shared that her family pairs gassing up the van with cleaning the trash out of it. While the gas is pumping, they move trash to the station receptacle. “Gas in/Trash out!”
- A friend paired scripture memory with showering – automatically five minutes of review.
- Scripture memory also pairs well with walking the dog, waiting for an appointment, washing dishes.
- Pray during the drive to the gym or on your commute – maybe for particular things at that time.
- Pair days of the week with certain prayer topics. Monday – missions and missionaries, Tuesday – the times (local, state, national, world leaders) Wednesday – work (managers, CEO’s, your team) Etc.
- Pull into the parking lot at work and pray for the boss’s wisdom, business, family
- Pair family devotions with a meal
- Connect ironing or mending with listening to a Bible teacher, audio book, or TV.
- Enjoy a Bible teacher or audio book while commuting to work, eating lunch, jogging.
- When leaving a medical office, make the next appointment. No having to remember later!
- When leaving for the grocers’, offer to pick up items for an elderly neighbor.
- Wiggle while watching TV. Balance on one foot, climb stairs during commercials, hula hoop!
- Tackle mending while husband reads to the family. Coloring and Lego play help some kiddos listen.
- A novel beside the bed entices me to go upstairs earlier.
Tell us what you already pair together. What new pairings could you create?