I recently had a to-do list meltdown.
I keep a written list in a reporter’s note book of things I have to do, but I decided to add another list for up-coming stories and story ideas. My brain is always overflowing with ideas but I’ve found if I don’t write them down right away those ideas disappear back into that creative nook in my head and never come out again.
Well, somehow I got both lists mixed up and inadvertently started yet another to-do list in another book, and somehow I ended up using that one as a make-shift plate for my midday snack, and couldn’t find it under the rubble.
All to-do list hell broke loose. What had I finished? What was left to do? Were the words written in my chicken scratch — “worker, fired” — a reminder to email someone or a story idea?
I sat there frustrated, wondering why the heck I needed these lists anyway. I never used to rely on them? Was my brain aging?
Turns out, I’m not alone. According to a Linkedin study released this week, 63 percent of professionals often keep to-do lists. And guess who needs them the most?
The poll found you artsy fartsy types need a bit more help remembering what you’re supposed to do:
Art industry professionals (40 percent) agreed the most with this statement, “I tend to be distracted easily.”
Those in legal occupations are really reoccupied:
Professionals in the legal industry had the lowest completion rate on their daily plans, with 66 percent of respondents accomplishing most or all tasks.
On the flip side,
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.
“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.
We gals seem to need the lists more:
* Seventy-one percent of women say they frequently keep to-do lists.
* Only 60 percent of men say they frequently keep to-do lists.
Most of us are still using old-fashioned pen and paper to write stuff down, 50 percent of us, compared to 45 percent who do it 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,” the study found.
So how many of us are actually completing our tasks?
Only 11 percent of professionals globally reported accomplishing all of the tasks they plan to do in a given workday.
OK, I feel a bit better. Do you to-do?