To some, working at home might seem like a dream come true. In fact, many people find that working from home brings with it some unanticipated challenges. It’s not uncommon, after working at home for an extended period, for an individual to actually prefer working back in the office. If you are working from home, here are some tips to help you avoid the possible pitfalls.

Structure Your Day

By having a schedule and sticking to it, you place yourself in an excellent position to work at home successfully. Have a morning routine that you follow, so you can get into the mood of working. It may help to emulate your ordinary routine from the days of working in an office—waking up early, getting dress, and preparing a cup of coffee. Work and take breaks at designated times and keep yourself on a schedule.

If you work when you feel like it, and rest when you feel like it, your productivity will likely suffer. Either you will take too many breaks, or you will work too hard and risk burning out. Keep yourself on pace.

Manage Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted while working from home. Whether it’s barking dogs, crying kids, or noisy neighbors, the average home is chock-full of distractions that could throw you out of focus.

If you can, set up a workplace in a private room so that you can close the door to distractions. Inform family members or housemates that you are working and would appreciate no disturbances. If they support you and your work, they shouldn’t mind staying out of your way.

Exercise Your Willpower

Working from home takes more willpower than one would assume. Distractions abound, especially if you have noisy children or roommates on different schedules. Don’t be surprised to find yourself flustered or struggling to get into a proper workflow.

Go into it with the expectation of being distracted and unable to focus. Know that this will most like happen. The anticipation of these challenges prepares you and helps to fortify yourself against them. Be ready to have your patience tested throughout the day, so you are not surprised when such things happen.

Additionally, it may help to have a battle plan to protect yourself from these distractions. Regularly-scheduled, strictly-timed breaks allow you to reset your mind and prepare for a new work task; they also provide more structure to your workday, which can help boost productivity.

Take this advice, and you’ll find yourself in a much better position to work from home. If all goes well, you’ll have accomplished all that you would have done in the office—perhaps you’ll have completed even more work than expected!