While working from home can save you the headache of a hectic commute or give you more time to cook meals or fit in some exercise, there are disadvantages that come with having your work area share the same space as your living area. The key to making a work from home lifestyle manageable for you is to create boundaries for yourself so your workday is structured and disciplined. Here are a few tips to make remote life just as productive as days spent in the office.

1. Get Dressed

Yes, it can be tempting to lounge in your PJs all day, but staying in leggings and sweats 24/7 can make you feel a little too…comfortable. Starting your day with a shower and clothes you could wear outside sends a message to your brain that this is time for productivity, not relaxation.

2. Don’t Work From Your Bed

If you want to successfully work from home, start by never working from the comfort of your own bed (that includes answering emails from your cell, too).The last thing you want to do is to associate your place of rest and ease with work frenzy. It’s imperative that you distinguish the two so you don’t rob yourself of a real retreat from the madness when you lay your head down to sleep at night.

3. Take Breaks

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of a real lunch break. Just as you would if you were in an office, take an hour and go for a walk. Take fifteen minutes to have some tea. Give yourself a half an hour to stretch and do some yoga. You will discover that taking real pauses in your workday enables you to be more focused overall.

4. Distinguish Your Personal Phone From Your Work Phone

Having a work phone creates boundaries that other people must respect. With your work phone, you can make it a rule that no business calls will be answered outside of your 9-5 work window. You can also use your business phone to sort through all of your work-related emails/texts, keeping them completely separate from emails/messages from your loved ones. When you mix your personal and business communications, it not only makes you disorganized, but also gets you into the bad habit of being accessible at all times to clients, colleagues or employees.

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