online surveyI recently asked seven questions in a survey and the responses poured in.

Each question was framed as an ideal state or condition. For instance, “I have a clear plan for each day and  for the majority of the time I am able to follow that plan.”  Each question had five possible answers which allowed respondents to share the amount of time this ideal state is their reality.  If people answered that they live in this ideal state half of the time or less, I think there’s room for improvement.  If they feel like they’re in that ideal state fairly often or all the time, this is not an area to spend much time trying to improve.

Here is how the numbers came in. For each question I’ve provided two numbers. The top figure represents the percentage of responses being in the ideal state more than half of the time .  The bottom figure represents the percentage of responses indicating being in the ideal state half of the time or less.  The questions are listed in order from most to least challenging situation – based on responses.

1. I have, and use, an efficient and effective process for handling email.
More than half of the time — 19%
Half of the time or less — 81%

2. I am NOT significantly impacted by interruptions during the workday.
More than half of the time — 25%
Half of the time or less — 75%

3. I consistently do the most important tasks first, rather than doing the easy tasks first.
More than half of the time — 29%
Half of the time or less — 71%

4. I am able to focus when necessary and do not feel the need to multitask.
More than half of the time — 29%
Half of the time or less — 71%

5. I am content with how I spend my time, both personally and professionally, and maintain what I consider to be a good work/life balance or blend.
More than half of the time — 38%
Half of the time or less — 62%

6. I have a clear plan for each day and for the majority of the time am able to follow that plan.
More than half of the time — 42%
Half of the time or less — 58%

7. I know where to put my papers and can easily access them when I need them.
More than half of the time — 59%
Half of the time or less — 41%

There you have it. These responses show that while these productivity challenges aren’t universal, they’re extremely common. Misery loves company maybe?

These responses will also help me craft tips targeted to help you make positive changes.  So thanks for helping me help you.