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Tips for keeping on top of your to-do list

Over half of Australians write daily to do-lists but only 8 percent complete them, according to a new survey. If this sounds like you, use these tips to get those tasks crossed off your to-do list

A LinkedIn survey found 65 percent of Aussie professionals create to-do lists regularly, with women found to be more likely to jot down their daily tasks than men.

The survey of over 6,500 professionals globally found that over half of Australians split their work day evenly between tasks that are planned and those that are unplanned.

Profession can also affect how likely a to-do list is to be completed, with those in the agricultural industry much more likely to get everything on their lists checked off than those in the legal industry, for example.

Nourish Coaching director Sally-Anne Blanshard said unplanned tasks, which occur daily, can prevent to-do lists from being completed. The answer could be as simple as making a few organisational changes though, which can help to maximise efficiency.

“I think we all have good intentions. We start to make progress with our mounting priorities but no matter what industry you’re in, you can’t avoid surprise phone calls, meetings or other unplanned tasks.  These get between you and your to-do list however you can amplify efficiency throughout your day to get it all done,” Blanshard said.

If your to-do list could use some assistance, check out these tips:

  1. Improve your efficiency in meetings: Check participants backgrounds and skills ahead of time to help judge what they have to offer. Knowing their strengths can help in problem solving, which in turn will shorten meetings and boost productivity.
  1. Get an outside opinion: Use social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for certain tasks. Getting an outside opinion or feel for what your customer base wants will save you time and give you a fresh perspective. 
  1. Get organised: Use aggregated news websites such as Google News, and LinkedIn Today to find the news you want all in one place. Using features such as favourites, bookmarks, Google Reader, and multiple labelled folders in your email can also help you find what you need faster.

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Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen is a junior reporter at Dynamic Business. She's a second year Journalism Major at UNSW and enjoys going to the cinema, reading, and wandering around craft and vintage markets.

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