How to Conquer Your To-Do List

A LinkedIn study shows that only 11 percent of respondents accomplish the tasks on their to-do lists. Here are five tips for making and adhering to your tasks.

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Thu, May 31, 2012

CIO — If you have a to-do list a mile long with items that never get accomplished, you're not alone: According to a new LinkedIn survey, only 11 percent of respondents across the globe complete all of the tasks they plan to do. The reason for the low number: unplanned events like phone calls, emails and meetings that derail their priorities.

But that doesn't mean you should ditch your list, says LinkedIn Connection Director Nicole Williams. "Professionals are so busy and have so much on their plate," she says. "To-do lists help you stay organized and on-task, as long as you know how you can best utilize them."

Here's a look at some of the survey results, along with five tips for making your to-do list work for you.


1. Log Your Day

"Most of us need a little down time over the course of the day to take a breath and stretch our legs, but its worth finding out if youre spending an inordinate amount of time on unproductive tasks," Williams says. "One of my favorite ways of shocking people is to ask them for one week to make a record of all the time they spend on on-work essentials."

This puts your to-do list in perspective, Williams says. "You can have nonproductive time in your schedule each day, but just be sure to add it to the list. It will quickly become clear why you didn't get to that report."

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