One of life’s little luxuries occurs when we have the opportunity to piddle around – doing (or not doing) whatever strikes our fancy, without regard to a schedule or to others’ needs. Piddle is the equivalent of having permission to pursue metaphorical rabbit trails to see where they lead or getting immersed in something that you normally would not spend the time on. It’s unstructured, serendipitous time that rarely occurs because we schedule ourselves so tightly.

But piddling, for me at least, is a great stress reliever. I may go into the closet looking for something and end up rearranging all of its contents. I may pull out a file and spend an hour re-reading all the articles I have collected on that topic. I may look online for one thing and find myself delving into an entirely different site…all without structure or purpose. Piddling can occur at home or at work, and often leads to not only personal rejuvenation but can also stimulate new ideas or solutions.

As things slow down a bit heading into for what is for many a short week, try to carve out a bit of time that can be yours for the taking. Allow yourself to explore whatever calls to you or immerse yourself in something you would not normally undertake and to see what comes of it.

Stress release and creativity don’t have to be lofty or planned. Let yourself piddle around and see what comes from being in a new flow.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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