What makes you productive? According to a new app, who and where you are

As someone who lives on the West Coast of the United States, I am both amused and surprisingly vindicated by this wonderful survey released by the makers of a social app that helps users keep track of – and, most importantly for the purposes of this particular story, tick off completed – to-do tasks. The report – released as an infographic entitled Team Do vs. Team Don’t – is the work of the people behind Well, a newly launched app that “helps you collect and share the things you want to do,” and the report tracks the productivity of its user base to draw some conclusions about justwho is better at getting things done… and where those people live.

The reason for my vindication is, according to the Well team, that people on the West Coast are far more productive than those on the East. Specifically, users in San Francisco were compared with users in New York City, and it really doesn’t go so well for those in the Big Apple; 41 percent of to-dos were completed in San Francisco, compared with just 21 percent in New York. But, if the East Coasters want their own reason to feel superior to someone, there’s always the fact that the United States in total is apparently far more productive than the rest of the world; 47 percent of to-dos are completed in the US, compared with only 20 percent in the international market.

The report breaks things down even further; women are more likely to complete tasks as men (31 percent of to-dos versus 21 percent, apparently), young people more likely than old to complete tasks (I feel as if there is some terrible joke to be made here, but shall refrain; nonetheless, 43 percent of young people complete tasks, compared with 27 percent of old, according to Well), and public tasks – especially those which involve some level of participation from other users, whether in terms of “like”s or comments left – are far more likely to be completed, with 46 percent of tasks with comments being completed if they had comments, and 35 percent if they were “liked” by other uses, against 21 percent completed without any form of interaction with the outside world (26 percent of “private” to-dos were completed, overall). The idea that having some form of outside influence ends up being helpful is just reinforced by the further revelation that 61 percent of to-dos that have specific deadlines attached get completed, against 23 percent of those with no end-date specified.

Looking at all the data, it’s clear that a young woman who lives on the West Coast of America who sets herself a target with a specific deadline and involves her social community in her progress is far, far more likely to be successful in achieving her goal than everyone else. The rest of us? We’ll just have to muddle along as best we can.

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