Stress is one of the biggest killers of productivity. It’s difficult to focus on the tasks in front of you when your mind is running over other things. The more topics your mind struggles to juggle, the more stressed a person becomes.


One of the best things you can do to increase your productivity, or the productivity of your team in the workplace, is to reduce stress.


This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily do less or even radically change your life. Small changes to your daily routine can do a lot to reduce stress and increase productivity .


1. Take Regular Breaks Away From Your Desk


It’s hard to actually clear your mind if you spend your break at your desk. Moving your body can do a lot to relieve stress from your muscles, clear your mind, and help you refocus when you return. When you can, take a walk around the block. The fresh air will help.


If you’re managing a team, make sure to create a work culture where breaks are encouraged. If people feel they are proving themselves by staying chained to their desks, they will.


2. Use To-Do Lists


Your list should be accessed regularly. You want a clear picture of what you’re doing today, and then what the actual priorities are. It’s best to circle one item on the list where if you only do that one thing, you’ll have had a good work day. That is your number one priority for the day. This will give you focus and clarity on what you’re doing at your desk. You’ll also feel more satisfied with your accomplishments when you know you’ve done the most important thing.


3. Manage Social Media Carefully


Social media is a constant distraction. It is unrealistic for most people to expect it to disappear from the work day altogether, but having a specific time for social media during the day is a good idea. This requires acknowledging that social media is a part of your day, which many people work to avoid, making it easier to keep this as a constant distraction. Instead, installing an app like Antisocial or Freedom can be a great way to handle your usage of social media, if you find yourself distracted. These apps will block social media for you. You can choose the sites you wish to be blocked from and for how long. Would you like to be kept off of Facebook for the next 20 minutes? Or from ten in the morning to two in the afternoon every day? You can set your own specifications to help you better manage this distraction and stay focused.