May 29, 2012

9 in 10 employees do not accomplish all items on to-do list: Survey

Unscheduled phone calls, emails biggest distractions

While nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadian employees keep a to-do list, nine in 10 do not accomplish all the tasks on their list in a given workday, according to a recent survey by LinkedIn.

Respondents pointed to unplanned tasks (such as unscheduled phone calls, emails and meetings) as the primary cause for not completing all items on their to-do lists, found the survey of 426 employees across the country.

The likelihood that a professional will complete her to-do list varied by industry. Professionals in agriculture claim to be the most productive, with 83 per cent of agriculture professionals stating they regularly fulfill most or all of their planned tasks. Professionals in the legal industry had the lowest completion rate on their daily plans, with 66 per cent of respondents accomplishing most or all tasks.

Art industry professionals (40 per cent) agreed the most with this statement: "I tend to be distracted easily." Agriculture industry professionals agreed the least with that statement; only 18 per cent of professionals in the agriculture industry are easily distracted.

More than one-half (51 per cent) of survey respondents write out their to-do lists by hand, while 42 per cent make the lists on electronic devices. Seventy-one per cent of women frequently keep to-do lists while 60 per cent of men frequently do so.

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