Increasingly, many of us have the flexibility of working from home. It has its benefits, and it can also wreak havoc on one’s ability to stay focused. Fast Company contributor Amanda Zantal-Wiener offers these 6 tips for staying on task when no one is present to hold you accountable.

  • Maintain a routine. Start each day at the same time with a defined task that signals the work day has begun.
  • Treat your day like a traditional workday. Shower and dress as if you’re going to the office. This sends signals that can shape your outlook and approach.
  • Have a hard stop for your day. Without conventional end of workday signals – like co-workers heading home – this gives you permission to shut down for the night.
  • Use your calendar as a to-do list. If no one is dictating your hours, calendar alerts is a good way to put time parameters around tasks.
  • Maintain communication with the boss. Update her on progress and deliverables.
  • Finally, understand how putting things off hurts you.