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LinkedIn studies professionals' work habits

Veronica C. Silva | June 8, 2012
Legal professionals least likely to finish tasks in their 'to-do' list

A recent study by professional networking channel LinkedIn reveal some of the work habits of today's professionals, including their propensity to finish off tasks in their "to-do" list.

The study of more than 6,5000 professionals worldwide revealed that those in the legal profession are the least likely to finish off their daily tasks compared to professionals in other fields. Only 66 percent of respondents representing the legal professional said they accomplish most or all tasks they have planned to do.

In contrast, those in the consumer and service industries were the most likely to finish their tasks, with 79 percent and 77 percent of respondents, respectively saying that they regularly fulfill most or all of the tasks in the to-do list.

In the art industry, 40 percent of respondents said they are distracted from accomplishing the tasks in their to-do list against a global average of 26 percent. Only 63 percent of art industry professionals surveyed said they feel like they do a good job prioritising their work compared to a global average of 91 percent.

Respondents were grouped into industries according to their LinkedIn profiles.

In general, only 11 percent of professionals accomplish the tasks they have set out to do in an average work day, the LinkedIn study also revealed.

Types of lists

The study also noted how professionals construct their to-do list. Fifty percent of respondents said they have a handwritten list of tasks they plan to do in a day while 45 percent said they have a written list. Others resort to a mental list or a whiteboard or chalkboard to write their lists. In general, 63 percent of respondents said they frequently create a to-do list.

The study also differentiated work habits based on gender. Seventy-one percent of women say they frequently keep to-do lists while only 60 percent of men say they frequently keep to-do lists.

"No matter where you work, there's no escaping the fact that sometimes unplanned tasks will get in the way of your to-do list," said Chan Ngee Key, Career Coach & Strategist at YourOwn360. "Working harder isn't the solution, though - working smarter is. If you leverage the tools available to you, for instance using LinkedIn to arm yourself with insights before meetings, you can be more efficient throughout the day."

The LinkedIn study urged professionals to use some tools available in LinkedIn to help them accomplish more from their tasks list.


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