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Survey reveals top to-do list tacklers

June 20, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

June 20, 2012, Mountain View, CA — New research from LinkedIn reveals
which workers tend to conquer their to-do lists on a daily basis.

The study examined how professionals in different industries tackle
tasks planned for a given workday; the differences between men and
women’s to-do list habits; and global insights on where professionals
keep to-do lists and what gets in the way of completing them. 

The study of more than 6,500 professionals showed that the likelihood
that a professional will complete their to-do list varied by industry.
Respondents in agriculture claimed to be the most productive, with 83
per cent 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 percent of respondents accomplishing
most or all tasks.


Art industry professionals (40 percent) agreed the most with the
statement, "I tend to be distracted easily." Agriculture industry
professionals agreed the least with that statement; only 18 percent of
agricultural professionals are easily distracted.

Overall, the study found that:

  • 63 per cent of all professionals frequently create to-do lists
  • 71 per cent of women say they frequently keep to-do lists, compared to 60 per cent of men

Globally, 50 per cent of those who jot down to-do lists do so by hand,
while 45 per cent create them electronically. The remaining five percent
reported storing their lists in alternative places, like, “In my mind
only,” “Piles of files,” or other locations like whiteboards or

When it comes to checking the boxes on their to-do lists, only 11 per
cent of professionals globally reported accomplishing all of the tasks
they planned to do in a given workday. Survey respondents pointed to
unplanned tasks, such as unscheduled phone calls, emails and meetings,
as primary causes for not completing all items on their to-do lists.
“No matter what industry you’re in, you can’t avoid surprise phone
calls, meetings or other unplanned tasks that can get between you and
your to-do list, but you can amplify efficiency throughout your day to
get it all done,” said LinkedIn’s connection director, Nicole Williams.

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