Plenty of people get great satisfaction from creating a to-do list then crossing things off one by one as they accomplish them.
But new research from Marriott Hotels shows trying to do everything on your list might actually distract you from focusing on what’s really important.
In fact, in a survey of 7,500 business travelers from nine countries, Marriott found that 77 percent of Americans agree that to-do lists are distracting.
Yet U.S. business people are the most likely to multitask; 80 percent said they do it, while only 1 percent said they do not. Forty-four percent said they spend three or more hours a day multitasking.
Mexican and Chinese respondents were the least prone to multitasking, with just 56 percent of them estimating they spend at least one hour a day doing so.
The survey also found that a driven attitude does not spark innovative ideas in most people. Eight out of 10 of global respondents said they most often find inspiration in a moment of pause, while 62 percent said taking time to relax and clear the mind resulted in finding clarity on a problem.
Half said a clear mind allows them to set new goals, while 84 percent believe they are most productive when they take time during the day to relax and recharge.
However, 70 percent of global travelers surveyed said on most days they find it difficult to relax and clear their minds, and 74 percent say their daily routine leaves them very little time to relax and reflect.
The Marriott survey included 7,588 respondents ages 25 to 54 from the United States, Australia, China, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, all of whom had taken three or more trips for business requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year as well as one or more leisure trips requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year. Respondents were 53 percent male and 47 percent female.
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