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I used to work from home (notice I said, “used to”). As I always say, there is good news and bad news when you work from home.


The good news is you see your kids a lot. The bad news is, you see your kids a lot!


Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. There are many obvious benefits to working from home: you don’t have to commute anywhere, you can work at your own pace, you can stay in your sweatpants, etc. And if you have kids, oftentimes, being your own boss allows you to create your own hours leaving flexibility to dedicate specific times to pick up your kids from school, attend soccer games etc. However, by the same token, these benefits sometimes make it difficult to maintain high levels of productivity.16752358_s.jpg


Indeed, working from home and working in the office both have their own requirements and challenges and it’s important to know the keys to success in either environment. Consider these rituals and see if they don’t increase your work-from-home productivity


1. Turn off notifications: Unless your work is heavily reliant on phone calls and mobile usage, you probably do not need to have your phone next to you at all times. And you know it’s true: having your phone alert you with game notifications and news alerts every three minutes only distracts you from your work.


Turn your phone on silent, leave it in the other room, and get going.


2. Have a separate workspace: Your productivity will decrease dramatically if you’re sitting on your bed, working in front of the TV, or surrounded by lots of commotion. Make sure you have a designated, separate space in your home to work. Having a space free of distractions will help you maintain focus.


3. Separate family from work: Along the same lines, working from home is especially unique for those with families. It is important that your partner and your children know there are rules when you are working from home. – For example, institute office hours so you can ensure hours of uninterrupted time.


4. Keep things organized: An organized space is an organized mind. Take a couple of minutes to tidy up your work area before sitting down (or at least once a week). This makes a bigger difference than you might think.


5. Start with small tasks: Everybody has their own preference, but many people find that starting the workday with smaller tasks helps one to gradually get into a workflow. For me, bigger projects are harder if I haven’t entered that rhythmic workflow quite yet. Things, like responding to emails and tidying up your workspace, are great ways to get the day moving.


6. Know your work habits: Similarly, you know your work habits best, so it would behoove you to and pay attention to them. If you know that you like to have a couple of hours in the morning to drink coffee, wake up, and read the news, then don’t try to force yourself to jump into work first thing in the morning.


7. Be disciplined: Working for yourself requires a level of self-discipline and planning, and this becomes even more important when you work from home. Make a list of what you want to accomplish for the day and try to stick to it.


8. Stay in the chair: There’s always some reason to get up out of your chair. Whether you think you need more coffee, a walk, a snack, etc., the solution is usually quite simple: Stay in the chair. Just keep plugging away. The fridge can wait. A couple of breaks are good and important, sure, but this is an excellent rule that will make you more productive.


The good news is that if you stay on target, playing with the kids won’t induce work-related guilt and everyone will be happier – you, your family, and yes, your clients too.


About Steve Strauss

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Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success. © Steven D. Strauss.


Web: or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2017 Bank of America Corporation

You have already demonstrated a sense of optimism if you have taken the leap into entrepreneurship. However, as the business roller coaster goes through its peaks and valleys, maintaining a positive attitude and the drive to keep going can be difficult.


That’s why it’s great to pause and get some inspiration via wise words from others. I’ve assembled 20 quotes from innovators, athletes and entrepreneurs (including one from me) that can give you a push in that time of need.


Consider posting your favorites in plain view as a constant reminder of the leadership, persistence and motivation you need to stay the course and make your business an even bigger success.



“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” - Peter Drucker


“There's never a wrong time to do the right thing and never a right time to do a wrong thing.” - Lou Holtz


“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” - Arnold H. Glasgow




Persistence, Success and Failure

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” - Bill Gates


“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” - Wayne Gretzky


“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford


“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” - Tom Kelley


“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan


“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” - Dale Carnegie


Problem solving

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein


“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.” - Peter Drucker


Ambition and Focus

“Jet pilots don’t use rear view mirrors.” - Joel H. Weldon


“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” - Ayn Rand


“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.” - Elvis Presley


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” - Vince Lombardi


“Entrepreneurs too often make choices based on ROE (Return on Ego) vs. ROI (Return on Investment).  A particular opportunity may make you feel great, but if that opportunity is not supporting your goal, or isn’t the best way to achieve your goal quickly and efficiently, then pursue the opportunity that will.” – Carol Roth


      RELATED ARTICLE: Great Entrepreneurs Start Small – Consider Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart


Competition and Motivation

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” - Theodore Roosevelt


“And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.” - Andrew Carnegie


“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.” - Steve Jobs


About Carol Roth

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Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, “recovering” investment banker, billion-dollar dealmaker, investor, entrepreneur, national media personality and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers and TV host and contributor, including host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. She is also an advisor to companies ranging from startups to major multi-national corporations and has an action figure made in her own likeness.


Web: or Twitter: @CarolJSRoth.

You can read more articles from Carol Roth by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Carol Roth to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Carol Roth is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Carol Roth. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2017 Bank of America Corporation

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