I read an article recently in Entrepreneur magazine on working from home or running a business from home, and found it interesting how this can end up being a most productive or most destructive situation.

Obviously, if you end up working 24/7 from home, you will self-destruct and, in the long run, not accomplish much at all. So, how do you make this a productive situation? Structure, organization, and discipline are the key ingredients to making this situation work for you.

First, determine if you are self-disciplined enough to work from home or run a business from your home. Ask yourself if you are organized, self-directed, a good communicator, enjoy working alone, and in a quiet place. And, be honest. If you like to collaborate with others in person, enjoy feedback and creative discussion, and the buzz of an office, you shouldn’t be looking to isolate yourself at home.

If you have passed this first test, and are convinced this working arrangement is for you, then you need to get organized about setting up a home office, and putting some structure into how you work from home. Try to find a place in your home that will work for you. You don’t necessarily need a separate room with a door that closes out any distractions. But it helps! Working in your kitchen can be fraught with distractions.

Next, you will need to create a system to keep you on task. Here are a couple of tips:

·      Set up scheduled hours. And, stick to them!

·      Plan in logical breaks (to stretch your legs, have lunch, etc.).

·      Keep a daily ritual (what you do before, during, and after work).

·      Manage your time well, because you won’t have a boss to do this.

·      Prioritize, and then be flexible as work conditions change.

You can make working from home work for you if you are honest with yourself, organized, and flexible. Good luck!