First Published: April 23, 2020 | Last Updated: May 14, 2022

Back when I used Instagram more actively, I made an effort to post a picture of the day’s to-do list from my bullet journal on whenever I remembered.

To me, it was an act of resistance.

Now, that might sound like an overdramatic way to describe posting a simple list on social media.

But it actually took a lot of mindset work to be able to confidently share my real to-do list with people I know each day.

This decision was so fraught I literally spent session time talking to my therapist about it. 🀣

So what’s the big deal about a 10-second photo of the least personal page in my bullet journal, one that expires after 24 hours?

Well, I didn’t want to feed into Hustle Culture and do the opposite of what Work Brighter’s mission is.

Because here’s the thing:

I have MAJOR problems with performative productivity.

Hustle Culture Encourages Performative Productivity

If I had to rank all the different characteristics or criteria of Hustle Culture (which I am working on doing in a big essay btw), performative productivity would probably be top 3.


A huge part of Hustle Culture is striving for superiority, in addition to being defined by how much work you do.

That’s why people still indoctrinated to Hustle Culture are so committed to exaggerating and glorifying those things in themselves.

Especially on social media.

I’m sure you’ve seen some #nosleep #hustle #grind content out there. Unfortunately the pandemic seems to have amped it up, not slowed it down.

And there’s a good chance that when you did, you felt a lil bit of pressure to work more, or a little bit inferior. That’s happened to me, too.

And from most people posting it, that’s the point. They want you to know they’re more productive than you.

The last thing I wanted to do is feed into that feeling of productivity dysmorphia.

It’s LARPing Your Job on Social Media

Social media to-do lists are a bit of a thing in Hustle Culture already…so much thatΒ The Washington Post has even written about the trend.

To me, it’s just another version of LARPing your job, one even more public and therefore performative than the Slack context the term was coined in.

So, the existing trend around posting to-dos on social media kept me from posting my own for a long time.

And I’m not a trend-hopper-on-er. I’m a do-what-I-want-er. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I cringed at the checkbox Instagram Stories, day in my life TikToks, and productive day vlogs I did see. And despaired at how both their creators and their audience equated productivity with morality and superiority.

How Conforming Can Be an Act of Resistance

Because of the way I saw other people doing it, I had no interest in posting my own to-do lists.

But then I started thinking…it would be an opportunity for me to make a trend started by Hustle Culture and the cult of working smarter, and make it a little bit brighter. 🌈

I could show people what a to-do list WITHOUT toxic productivity looks like.

Because my own escape from Hustle Culture has changed what my to-do lists look like.

And I don’t think they’re the kind that’ll pressure anyone to work more.

Last week, “wash hair” showed up on my list twice before being escalated “suck it up and wash your f*cking hair” after I kept putting it off.

(Have you SEEN how much of it I have?! It’s a full arm workout!)

Most days, “take nap” or “read [insert whatever I’m reading]” is on it.

spongebob to-do list gif

And EVERY day, “take meds” is there, otherwise I won’t remember, and it’s priority #1.

My to-do list shows what productivity means to me, and how much more it includes than just work.

Everything I want to share with Work Brighter.

It reminds me of reading about Diogenes in How to Do Nothing, and how his form of protesting and resisting societal norms was by…participating in them.

Just in the most ridiculous way possible.

That definitely feels aligned with my own radical yet ridiculous self. πŸ˜€