I’ve fallen victim to the toxic productivity movement in the past. I wrote about it a little more in this post about how we need to stop glamorizing overworking in the blogging industry. And I found myself in a funny place between my love for productivity and my need to be more intentional with my time and energy and putting my self care first.

Because yes, toxic productivity is bad. Bad, bad, bad.

But some people are naturally productive. Born organizers. Like to get shit done and get it done now. I am one of those people. And I’ve learned to make it work to my advantage and know where my edge is. So I know the second I feel like I’m going over that edge, I can stop myself and pull myself back.

Productivity and organization is in my blood. Lord knows where I get it from – maybe a great grandmother was the inventor of the ring binder or something – but I love anything to do with not only being more productive but also not putting our wellness and mental health at risk because of it.

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I’ve established a handful of routines and changes into my life to create this perfect balance between productivity and down-time. Is it always perfect? No. But I have the tools and I know how to use them.

Most of these hacks are super simple but I want to share one particular one with you today that is SO simple you almost won’t believe it. I’m going to show you why you have to switch up your to-do list NOW. 

But I love a to-do list!

I know, me too. That’s why this trick is SUPER SIMPLE. And don’t worry, you still get to have a list! I wouldn’t dream of telling you to scrap to-do lists altogether. Don’t worry, we ain’t going that far.

A to-do list is so beneficial because:

  • It boosts productivity
  • It stops you forgetting important things
  • It allows you to prioritize and categorize
  • They give us a structure

And much more. So the benefits of to-do lists are aplenty. But there’s one thing that isn’t beneficial for a to-do list. And that’s the name itself.

A to-do list.

Since I swapped the name of my list, my attitude towards my tasks and my mindset has shifted dramatically. Because a to-do list is a list of stuff we HAVE to do. An endless list of tasks, activities, chores and more that we stick on our to-do list to get them done because we have to. Not because we want to.

But by making this one simple change to your to-do list, you can find your mindset changing with it. And there are two things you can change the name of your to-do litst to:

  1. A “To Manifest” List
  2. A “I Get To Do” List

And your choice of which one you use will vary depending on your beliefs. I currently use a “To Manifest” list because this is what aligns with me right now. I’m a pretty spiritual person and heavily into The Law of Attraction, so this feels right to me.

Why use a “to-manifest” list?

This is for the woo among you. And I say that in the nicest possible way, as a fellow woo-head. A “To Manifest” list is a great way to change up your to-do list. Why? Because if the law of attraction is working then by telling the Universe that you’re manifesting these things on your to-do list, you will receive help from her to get them done.

For example, you might have “do the food shop” on your list then your partner randomly turns around and offers to do it instead. Or perhaps you’ve written something on your list and it turns out you’ve already done it, so you can tick that off immediately. All these little things sent to you from the Universe that will help you complete this list and make it easier for you.

Why use a “I get to do” list?

This option is for the less woo. Which I feel like will probably be most of you but that’s okay. I wanted to tend to all. A “get to do” list is a MUCH more positive version of the “to-do” list. It really hones in on gratitude and thankfulness that you get to wake up and do all these things. I think it’s such a powerful change.

And even the boring things on your list, like do the vacuuming and pick up prescriptions? It even puts those tasks in a brighter light too and encourages you to look at them on the side of gratitude, rather than being boring tasks you wish you didn’t have to spend your time doing.

You have a prescription for a medication that helps with an ailment and therefore makes you feel better and healthier every day? Freaking amazing. Let’s skip all the way to the chemist to pick them up.

You get my point. 

I think this small change is such a powerful one. Because gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings and tools we can have in life. And all these small changes and attention focuses to a life of gratitude, rather than a life of lack and things we have to do rather than get to do will slowly, over time, become natural to you.

And you’ll find yourself living a more grateful life every single day! 

Productivity is great. Gratitude is great. Why not put them together? There will always be a place in life for productivity and organization. For getting things done. For not procrastinating. For work. But there’s always a place beside that for gratitude as well and for looking at your days and your tasks in a new, more positive, light.

What do you think about this small to-do list change? Will you be changing up your to-do list? Do you currently have a “get to do” list?

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39 Comments

  1. Literally read my mind dude! Lol I just wrote something about this because I’m sick of it too! Great minds think alike huh?

  2. I’d never thought about this before!! I can definitely see how a simple rename can do so much to refresh the way one approaches their productivity. I’ve found that out, without even realising it! When I have a trip to prepare for, or an exciting day ahead, I’ve usually titled my to do list as the name of the trip’s destination or a simple “Tomorrow”, and I actually have enjoyed working through those lists more, even as much as I enjoy my standard daily list!! xx

  3. I love the idea behind a ‘I get to’ list rather than a ‘to-do’ list, I am going to start switching this from Monday! I think it’ll take me a bit longer to get to the manifest-list, but one can hope sooner rather than later x

  4. Love this post! I especially love the “I get to” list idea because it truly brings a better outlook towards the to-do list. It’s not a dreary I “have to do” but a positive I “get to do” which can immediately make us excited about a lot of things. Will definitely try it sometime!

  5. I think this post is probably one of my favorites, and that is hard to say because so many of your posts are wonderful!!! Gratitude is everything! Changing our mindset so we can enjoy our to-do list is empowering. The truth is, there are some things we would rather not be doing, but they have to get done. When we brighten our perspective, even the dull and boring items on the list are less disagreeable.

  6. I always love lists! I have a list for about everything but I’ll confess, I’ll put super easy to do things on my lists so I get to check more off. It makes me feel super productive, even if I’m not.

  7. you have read my mind becasue rght now I am working on promotimg my work and feel like wait I didn’t paint my eyes from looking at the screen about ready to go for a walk thinking what did I check off was it worth it….

  8. I create lists that are centred on what I want to achieve for the week. Items on that list may have subtasks, but the weekly list is a compass for me. Items that don’t get covered get carried over to the next week, and so on.

  9. Nice piece, Jenny. To do lists can be one of those best/worse case things, can’t they? I recommend to people to view their lists as awareness tools rather than commitments. Just because something is on your list shouldn’t be the compelling driver to whether or not it gets done. Prioritization is a way to help break down the importance of tasks, but how about instead using priority to determine what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t do something? Use your lists to free up mental real estate rather than as deep personal obligations and you may find they’re not nearly as guilt-inducing.

    Art Gelwicks – theideapump.com

  10. I’m not a list person. I am trying lists in a way but honestly, it’s almost like I don’t know how to make a list. Or get blocked when I start one. I love the idea of all of this though so it’s a weird thing for me. If that makes sense lol

  11. This is such an interesting take on lists. I am 100% a list person in every aspect of my life. But I like the sound of changing the wording and purpose of the lists I create for better outcomes!

    Rosie

  12. I swear by lists, it keeps me focused and I wouldn’t be able to function without. Fantastic tips, thank you

  13. Thank you for writing this piece! I was wondering how to become more productive without giving up my feeling of gratitude and happiness. I am going to follow your tips..thank you, friend 😄

  14. I totally agree with making a ‘to-do’ list, it always makes me feel more productive and like I’ve achieved something with my day. It’s so satisfying being able to tick those jobs off isn’t it? Thanks for sharing this, I’ll be keeping it in mind Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

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