3 tips to be productive when working from home

For an entrepreneur and owner of a small business, the days are often long and hard, with little room left over at the end for friends and family. This is one reason why the temptation to work from home may be so strong. It can free up more time for kids, help cut costs and keep a financial plan on track.

However, working from home isn't without its disadvantages. Many of the positives of being away from the office quickly become distractions, and that can cripple productivity and get in the way of small-business success. Therefore, it is vital that the proper steps are taken to stay focused while working remotely.

In order to do just that, here are three tips to stay productive while working from home:

1. Change the environment
A home office should be exactly that – an office. Without a dedicated work space to be productive, it will be much harder to achieve success. According to Inc. magazine, this can be easier with a little redesign. For example, consider bringing some potted plants into the room, or even inviting a pet in for a stay. It can also help to paint a new color on the walls, such as green or purple. These hues are often associated with concentration and productivity. Either way, having a home office that is conducive to work will benefit a small business.

2. Plan a commute
One of the worst things for productivity is waking up and immediately turning on the computer and getting to work. Inc. magazine recommended planning a fake commute instead. This brief time helps many people get focused and ready for the day, and without it, it may be harder to stay on track. Working from home doesn't require leaving the house, but perhaps create a short routine to prepare for the tasks ahead.

3. Stay organized
When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted. Instead, find creative ways to stay organized. Forbes noted that creating rules and restrictions will be beneficial, such as set hours, best practices and a dress code. This way, it will limit distractions and keep the financial plan on track. Working from home isn't for everybody, but it can be a great tool for an entrepreneur trying to balance family and the office.

"It really depends on your personality," Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of The Work at Home Woman, told the news source. "I've found that to be an effective work at home individual, you need to have excellent critical thinking, organizational and communication skills, along with being able to block out distractions."

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