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The Right Start

When your job doesn't require putting on a suit or getting into a car, making the transition from parent to professional can be a challenge. In our August issue, we asked readers who work at home how they shift gears in the morning.

Shut Yourself Off

For me, the physical act of walking into my office and closing the door to the rest of my house helps me instantly make the transition from mom to business owner.

 Almeree Justice, Kansas City, MO

Start Slow

I fix a cup of (caffeinated!) tea, tell my kids that Daddy's now on duty and start to work on tasks that aren't too demanding: reading e-mail, checking my calendar and replying to correspondence. That usually kicks my brain into action.

 Angie Peters, Benton, AR

Take A Moment

I find the best way to make the switch is to take a few minutes to gather myself with prayer, meditation or a brisk walk.

 Jane Somerton Frith, Lewiston, ID

Clean Up And Schedule

The minute I get back from taking my son to preschool, I pick up all of the toys, magazines and other items left out the night before—that way I can't use the clutter as an excuse to procrastinate. Also, every day I schedule a task that must be done by 9:00 the next morning (it can be as simple as sending a fax). Having it on my calendar forces me to get going.

  Marcy McDonald, Tuscaloosa, AL

Dress To The Nines

After waving to the kids as they board the bus, I shower, then put on work clothes, accessories and makeup. My wardrobe is key; I really slack off if I'm in a sweatshirt and jeans.

 Colleen L. Jones, Newton, NH