At some point, everyone seems to experience that horrible thing called procrastination. It stops us from reaching our potential and getting things done, and ending it can seem impossible sometimes. On Twitter, we discussed how we identify what triggers our procrastination and best practices to increase our productivity.

During our bi-weekly chat, we discovered that procrastination is a challenge faced often. It affects most people during college, when they’re faced with new tasks that they aren’t completely excited about, or when their overall health/state of mind is negatively impacting them on a personal level. Some even said that they’ve learned to use procrastination in their favor, as it can sometimes lead to more inspiration and thorough work.

But how can we stop procrastination before it starts? Or how can we get through tasks we completely loathe? Some people mentioned that their procrastination is triggered due to the type of task, their environment, and distractions. With some suggestions gained from our #DARLAtalks Twitter chat and some additional research, here are some tips to stopping procrastination and increasing productivity:

Create to-do lists/Deadlines and actually follow them (don’t forget about calendars and planners!)

·  If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, you may love the flexibility but it can also have a negative impact. Make sure you’re sticking to your time-sensitive deadlines! It has been said that  working in 90-minute intervals allows you to be more productive. Additionally, for open ended tasks or projects set a self-imposed deadline and see how efficiently you may work when you have to beat the clock.

Weed out distractions — disconnect for a little

·       Although technology may seem like one of the biggest distractions, there are ways to reduce the distractions. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode + turn off your notifications!

Designate certain times for emails

·       Instead of stopping what you’re doing to respond to each one of them, set time aside every day to respond

Avoid multitasking

·       We were once told that having the ability to multitask is great, but in fact, it can be detrimental to productivity. Doing multiple things at once is less productive and takes more time. Try focusing on one single task for a set amount of time before moving on.

Reward yourself

·       If you have a big project or “not-so-interesting” task to complete, reward yourself after completion with a nice snack, face mask or something else that makes you happy!

Prepare yourself for the following day

·       Before you leave work or finish up for the day, make sure to check your calendar to see what’s scheduled next. This can even apply to meal prepping or picking out your outfits. Preparing for what’s to come will allow everything to flow a lot smoother.

Block out times just for yourself and for breaks

·       Nowadays everyone seems to say, “the grind never stops.” While working hard for what you do is very important, taking breaks is just as important.  Constantly creating can be extremely draining and hurtful to your process. Take regular breaks , it will help improve concentration and maintain a quality level of performance.

2-Minute Rule

·       It’s recommended that if a task can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately! It takes less time to just do it now than to put it off to complete later.

Set goals and stick to them!

·       Set your big goals and the smaller tasks that need to occur for you to achieve this goal. For example, if you want to learn a new skill in one month and do it through an online class… Your smaller could be to spend at least 5 hours a week on a class, which could be 1 hour a day during the work week.

Stop aimlessly scrolling through feeds or watching TV excessively

·       Most of us love just scrolling on Twitter/IG or binge watching TV shows. While it may be okay for certain days/times you set as breaks, it can interfere with your productivity. Set some media consumption boundaries for yourself.

Get in your best working environment!

·       Personally, if I’m working from home I cannot work anywhere near my room. I will automatically want to lie down. Therefore, if I really need to get work done I’ll make sure I’m in a quiet place with no distractions, and sitting up straight. For others, working outside, in a library, or listening to music may work. Discover what’s best for you, get in the zone!

Get enough sleep

·       Clearly, being tired while working is a set up for failure. Try your best to go to sleep early and eat a great breakfast to allow yourself enough energy to complete your tasks.

Do you have other ways to increase productivity? Mention us on Twitter and use the hashtag, #DARLAtalks to share. Make sure to join us Thursday, September 6th for our next #DARLAtalks