Working from home may seem like the ultimate work arrangement, but it can be pretty challenging to stay focused and get work done.  With the relaxed environment and the various temptations begging your attention, you may find yourself less productive at home.

If you want to avoid this trap and help ensure your home business has the best opportunities for success, discover these five work habits that ruin home businesses and learn ways to overcome them:

1.  Lack of Planning

Having a great idea and the necessary capital for your business is a great start, but it isn’t enough.  Great businesses start with great plans.  Invest the extra time to create a business plan that will outline the direction and goals for your business.  One good (free) resource for writing effective business plans is the Small Business Administration.

2.  Operating without a Schedule

Large corporations, hospitals, and universities all thrive on schedules, and without them, chaos will soon result.  So why do many small business owners feel they can be successful without one?  When working from home, it’s important to create time blocks for activities in order to separate work, family and home obligations.  Scheduling when you will work with clients, complete administrative work, or market your business will help ensure important tasks aren’t ignored.

3.  Working in Disorganization

While you may know where you’ve placed those important forms, hunting through a stack for them still wastes valuable time.  By creating a system for organizing your work area, you can encourage more efficiency and create extra time pockets that can be redirected to other priorities – like family time or more “me” time.  If you need some tips for organizing your work area (and better managing your time), check out this article: Achieve More in Your Home Office by Better Managing Your Time.

4.  Procrastinating

Chances are you have at least one item on your To-Do list that keeps getting transferred from one week to another.  Or you’ve put off making that customer call or writing that article for a few weeks days now.  We’re probably all guilty of putting off a task or two to do something seemingly more fun (or less painful).  However, avoiding tasks that are necessary for business growth only hurts you in the long run.  Practice “eating that frog” – do the least desirable task first and it’ll fuel you to complete the rest of your items.

5.  Lack of Budgeting for Business

Many home business owners know the importance of budgeting for home expenses, but fail to carry over this practice into their business.  As a result, some small businesses fail due to a lack of proper financial planning.  By outlining expected monthly business expenses and anticipated income, you can avoid costly over-expenditures which can put your business in jeopardy.  There are many financial planning tools for small businesses, such as Quickbooks, Peachtree, and Freshbooks.  Review a few and implement a tool that can help you stay on top of your finances.

By avoiding these five negative work habits, you can help ensure your business has the best opportunity to succeed.