Take time to to’odle and you’ll reach your dreams faster

I love lists.  I covet lists.  I crave making lists.  Lists relax me.  They keep my delusion of being in control of my world firmly in place.

I have a confession to make however.  At the end of a bad day, my eyes will skittishly wander towards a list only to streak away faster than you can say ‘boo’.  Sometimes I get sick of my lists.  They feel constricting, claustrophobic and controlling.

That’s when I know I need to throw them out and to’odle.  Yes.  To’odle.  As in doing things that let my mind wander, my body relax.  When I have no sense of time, either how fast or slow it’s passing, I know I’m to’odling.

Chris Guillebeau says we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year.  I think he’s spot on.

Here’s the kicker though –> to reach our dreams and our goals we first off have to be clear about where we’re headed.  Once the horizon is clear and we know where we’re headed, lists help us clarify the steps to get there.  AND if all of our time is programmed, structured, and tightly controlled then we miss out on spontaneity, unforeseen opportunities.  Instead of being flexible and open to possibilities we become brittle, with our lists controlling us instead of the other way round.

So while I’m all about list making (as my husband can attest to, shaking his head in dismay  while asking how we can live in the same house, the anti-list maker that he is) the path to our dreams is far from a straight line.

Sixth and final, in a series, this post celebrates what some remarkably interesting folk have on their to’odle lists.

Make note of how you feel and what you’re thinking when you read about their to’odling.  May it encourage you to to’odle yourself.  Because we all need time that’s free floating, when the incessant tick of the omnipresent clock is but a beautifully muted beat to your own drum.

The series includes things to-do, to continue doing, to stop doing, not to do, to-done, and to’odle lists. See below for a quick summary of each and a link to download a template to create your own.

To’odle – or what to do when I need to float, let my mind wander, and relax

From Dyana Valentine, who helps self-starters self-finish and whose Perfect Pitch process is nigh on perfect –

Ohhh, I watch tv on hulu.com, read fabulously trashy magazines in waiting rooms, listen to new music and add things that make me feel giddy to my amazon.com wishlist for giggles and what I call constructive procrastination.

From Danielle LaPorte, lifestyle diva, style maven, Fire Starter & WhiteHot Truth mama – 

Anything by Alan Watts and most TED Talks. And Rumi poetry.

From Melodie Biringer Queen of all we Crave & Mistress of Women’s business development –

I surf facebook and twitter too much, even though it is sometimes a time suck I think it ultimately juices me up and helps me get my to-do list done.

From Kerri Carlson – the Wonder Woman behind the inspirational Every Woman annual conference

Walk the dog.  Take a bath.

From Oz Sokoh, U.K. Shell Geo-scientist by day and foodie blogger by night –

Think about food.

From Melanda Schmid, UN Habitat consultant in Kenya, non-violent communications fiend & lover of earrings –

Snuggle my dog or go for coffee with dear friends and talk about little nothings.

And in case you think I know not men, this in from Pat Jarvis – dedicated to Paralympic sport, Order of Canada recipient, his perigrination & peripatetic lifestyle is dedicated to making the world a better place (& is brought to you by the letter ‘p’) –

Get lost in the creative mind of a fiction writer — read more, like I used to, just for fun with indirect learning…

From Sam Crespi, writer, ever curious, purposeful wanderer –

I DANCE! Put on some 40s tunes, or salsa and dance myself silly. It’s a real mood lifter, and great for the figger! LOL If not dancing, I may read, go for a walk or invite some women friend over to hunker down and do those women tribal things like give each other mani pedis, laugh, swap stories, ideas and mutual support. Wine, chocolate, popcorn are definitely options. Sometimes I make postcards using funny headlines and colored papers.

Note from Lee-Anne: Sam didn’t actually submit any to’odle items however her to-done list sounds like it fits the bill, which is pretty darn inspirational.

From Michelle Royle, one of the best trainers I know, whose integrity can’t be topped, a deep thinker, traveler & dry humourist

Check my email, read websites, ISM/BBM, eat, watch tv, sleep, nap, clean, cook, exercise, socialize, read, makes lists, sign up for courses, phone my mother.

From Johanne Gallagher, the wickedly funny, charming Irish Diva living, working & playing in Norway

I sing, write poetry, dance tango, visit girlfriends, go for walks in nature.

And you? What’s on your to to’odle list?

Happy to’odling.

Read the already covered segments from these same folks:

To do

  • things I want to start doing, being or having this month

To continue doing

  • these work, so I should continue doing these

To stop doing

  • I tried these but they aren’t effective, so I shouldn’t do them anymore

To not do

  • I know I want to stay away from these

To done

  • yep, that’s not a typo; these are my accomplishments – I am proud of these. This one is left off most lists I know of and yet it’s critical to take time to reflect on what we’ve done not just on what’s left to do.


  • what to do when I need to float, let my mind wander, and relax

To download your own template to use as you wish simply click here: Rock.Paper.Scissors To Do template.


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2 Responses to “Take time to to’odle and you’ll reach your dreams faster”

  1. Leigh Says:
    February 24th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I love this as I’m to’odling right now! First: the coaches folder in my google reader. Other options: inspirational + design folders in google reader, magazines, astrology newsletters + monthly predictions, articles i’ve bookmarked for later, twitter and watching a tv show or two.

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    February 24th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Hey to’odler, I’ve been thinking about you. So glad you checked in. Any advice for inspirational/design to’odle resources?

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