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Your home is full of distractions and there’s just no getting around that fact. If you have pets, they’re likely in your face wanting attention. If you’ve got kids, you need to balance their needs with your own. Then there’s just the fact that it’s harder to concentrate when you’re not in your usual office setting.

Working from home doesn’t have to be difficult, however. If you put a plan in place and commit to it, you’ll get your work done efficiently while having time to balance all your other needs.

Find a space. Setting up a laptop at your kitchen counter isn’t ideal. If possible, try to find an office location in your home that’s not in the crosshairs of heavy traffic. The best possible solution is to find a room where you can close the door to block out noise and distractions. If that’s not possible, situate yourself in a corner, even if you have to set up a make-shift office table. Just don’t set yourself up in a middle of a room that welcomes interruption.

Make the environment believable. As much as you can, make yourself believe you’re not working from home. Using what’s available to you, set up an office space that doesn’t make you think of home. Grab some pens and stick them in a holder, set up double monitors if possible (if that’s what you’re used to), etc. You can even add a calendar to your wall or print some motivational posters if that’s what you have in your typical office space. If you can trick your brain into work-mode, you’ll be a lot more efficient and organized.

Create a schedule. You can be realistic here. If you’ve got kids or tasks you need to balance while working from home, you can’t pretend that working three hours straight is going to fly. Instead, figure out a plan for what you need to do for work, as well as in your personal life, and play some Tetris with the timetable. If you give yourself a timeline and structure your day, you’ll be more efficient when it’s time to work.

Keep yourself organized like you normally do at the office, whether you use an online calendar, a physical one or a planner. And then implement some strategies that are realistic for your work-from-home setting but that will help keep you on track and organized.

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