by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

I’ve been working from a home office for almost twenty years now, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But, if you’re like me, you need to create an environment that is conducive to actually getting work done. And I think this is more of a challenge for women than it is for men.

If you follow the five tips listed below, you’ll be surprised at how much more you will enjoy working from home and how much more you’ll be able to accomplish.

Five Tips for Working from a Home Office

1. Schedule your day.

Working from home provides endless opportunities for distractions. To get past these, schedule your work day and stick to that schedule. I use Microsoft Outlook because it is simple and it syncs everything across my PC, tablet and cell phone. Since you’re your own boss, schedule your day to be sure everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks.

2. Close the door to your office.

Don’t let that puppy or stay-at-home spouse distract you. If you have a door, keep it shut during your working day, coming out for breaks. Be sure your family knows that when the door is closed that you are working; when open it’s ok to ask you a question.

3. Schedule breaks.

It is so easy to plop down in front of your computer and not look up for hours. But you’ve got to physically get up and move around, whether it’s to take a walk around your neighborhood in the morning or to hit the gym midday. This will keep both your body and your mind sharp.

4. Set outside appointments.

Be sure to schedule regular “people-fixes” throughout the work week. Grab coffee with a client or another woman biz owner. Or even schedule time to meet up with a friend or sister who lives nearby. Just be sure to get out on a regular basis.

5. Get dressed.

On days when you don’t have outside appointments and aren’t planning on visitors, it’s easy to fall into a routine of not getting dressed. But this can actually inhibit your productivity. Getting dressed sets you up mentally to get to work! So be sure to get dressed every day.