Whether you’re an entrepreneur or in corporate, low daily productivity can set you back days, weeks, and even months.

If you’re feeling less than efficient right now, then here’s my key message for you to remember: you can’t be productive all day. It’s just not possible to sit down for 9+ straight hours and crank out the best material you’ve ever produced. In fact, it’s better that you don’t try and do this because you’ll just get burned out.

Your brain functions best when you give it an optimal balance of work that challenges it and break time that refreshes it. The key to productivity lies in strategizing your ideal work day while keeping yourself accountable. Here are my top productivity tips for you to try!

1. Spend your first 15 minutes of work making a daily schedule.

The best way to strategize is to schedule yourself. This will help you stay on task and prevent you from spending a lot of time on projects that aren’t as important as others. My top tip: schedule no more than 2 hours of constant work without a 5-10 minute break to get up and walk around the office, your home, or outside.

If you feel like you may not stick to your schedule, set quiet alarms on your phone or computer that go off at each milestone in your day. Not only will this keep you accountable, it will also make the day go by faster by splitting it up into manageable chunks.

2. Leave non-urgent emails until the afternoon.

For most of us, peak productivity happens shortly after we wake up. Also for most of us, one of the biggest headaches at work is our inboxes. Have you ever come in one morning only to find over 100 new emails since you shut down the night before?

Emails are a major red flag when it comes to productivity because it’s so easy to get bogged down in them. After you make your daily schedule, spend no more than 15 minutes scanning your inbox for the most important emails, send your responses, and be done with it until the end of the day.

3. Go away from your desk for lunch.

Leaving your work space won’t only get you moving, it’ll also give you the change of scenery your brain needs to jump back into action. Even if it’s just a quick trip down to the cafeteria or outside to a park bench, getting into this habit will help you feel more refreshed, active, and ready to get down to business!

4. Download online productivity tools.

A great way to ensure that you’re productive is to recognize how easy it is to get yourself distracted and take preventative measures. Whether it’s by social media, news, or aimless clicking through the Internet, we all have our ways to ignore work. My top tip: eliminate procrastination from the equation by downloading online software that will keep you on task.

A favourite of mine is SelfControl, a completely free application that allows you to block certain websites for an amount of time of your choosing. Once you set the timer, there’s no way for you to get online and procrastinate.

What are your top productivity tips? How do you stay on task by keeping procrastination to a minimum? Let me know in the comments section!