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43% of Americans don’t finish their to-do list

A PA has more work piled in front of her, preventing her from finishing her to-do list

New research from Time etc, an award-winning virtual assistant service offering professionals access to highly skilled assistants, found that 43% of American workers don’t finish their daily to-do list. More bogged down with menial tasks than ever, the inability to focus on tasks that are vital to their career is resulting in lack of professional development and career growth for workers.

The study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, revealed not only how American employees are spending their work days, but also the professional and personal struggles that result from failed productivity at work.

American employees are swamped with grunt work, which is taking time away from tasks that are vital to their job. Unable to finish their daily to-lists, it’s clear that they need a second set of hands.

Key findings include:

  • 43% of employees do not finish their daily to-do list
  • 54% dedicate 25% or less of their day to important, deadline-oriented assignments
  • 43% spend up to 50% of their day scheduling calls/meetings
  • 57% spend up to 50% actually attending calls/meetings
  • Additionally, one in seven (14%) feel they spend too much time responding to emails.

Creativity and professional growth are being placed on the back burner. Due to overwhelming schedules and task-lists, American workers aren’t able to focus on professional growth and creative thinking, two tasks that are essential to success in their careers.

  • A whopping 93% said they spend 25% or less of their work day brainstorming creative ideas or new business leads
  • More than one in four (27%) workers feel that working on small tasks makes it difficult to complete their long-term goals.

Employees have poor work/life balance because they are inundated with work. In many cases, staying outside of their scheduled work hours is causing them to miss out on irreplaceable family time.

  • 59% reported they stay at work beyond their scheduled hours
  • Of that 59%, employees are staying late to catch up on tasks such as organizing to-do lists (24%), updating timesheets (20%) and doing their expenses (17%)
  • Within this group, one third (33%) have a child under the age of 18, showing American employees are missing out on valuable family time due to an overwhelming workload.