New LinkedIn research reveals which professionals conquer their to-do lists
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New LinkedIn research reveals which professionals conquer their to-do lists

by Jake on May 23, 2012

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with 161 million members worldwide, today released data about professionals and their daily to-do lists. 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.

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

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

  • The study shows that 63 percent of all professionals frequently create to-do lists.
  • Seventy-one percent of women say they frequently keep to-do lists.
  • Only 60 percent of men say they frequently keep to-do lists.

Globally, 50 percent of those who jot down to-do lists do so by hand, while 45 percent 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 chalkboards. When it comes to checking the boxes on their to-do lists, only 11 percent of professionals globally reported accomplishing all of the tasks they plan to do in a given workday. Survey respondents pointed to unplanned tasks (such as unscheduled phone calls, emails and meetings) as primary cause 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. “Summon the collective intelligence on LinkedIn to work smarter and solve challenges quickly. Save time by arming yourself with insights before meetings.”

Follow these “to-dos” to save time in your workday and cross more tasks off the list:

  1. Make meetings more efficient
    Check out meeting participants’ LinkedIn Profiles ahead of time to get a sense for what they bring to the table. Past experience and specific skills of your meeting cohorts could come in handy to creatively solve a problem — thereby keeping your meeting time to a minimum.
  2. Crowd source your challenge
    Use LinkedIn Answers and LinkedIn Groups to tap into the wisdom of your LinkedIn network or the rest of the 161 million LinkedIn members. By posing questions and starting discussions you’ll be able to assemble solutions in record time.
  3. Get up to speed in an instant
    Rather than visiting various news sources each morning, get your daily news fix in one place via LinkedIn Today. Customize LinkedIn Today so you get news that’s relevant to you and your clients. Access LinkedIn Today from your desk, iPad or phone by downloading LinkedIn Mobile.

Learn more about LinkedIn’s professional to-do list study and download an infographic on LinkedIn’s Blog.

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