When you begin working from home, first you have to get the mindset that you are going to work everyday. You have to get up and know that you have a job to do and it must be done properly and in a work-like manner.
It is very easy to get up and be more relaxed than necessary when you know that you can work in your pajamas with your favorite television program blaring in the background. If possible, the work should be done in a home office that does not share space with a bedroom or any other room where normal living occurs. That way you can be focused and in an office environment.
When working from home, it is easy to veer off course and get caught up in the daily rigors of your everyday homelife and household tasks. Discipline is key. If there are things that you need to handle, know that they can not and should not be handled until your work day has officially ended, just as would be the case if you went to work at an onsite location.
Personally, I get up each day at 8 a.m. I shower, put on comfortable clothing, and do anything that needs to be done before my workday officially begins at 9:30 a.m. Once I begin working I am an employee and have no time to do idle things like reading and watching television. I have tasks to be completed which will result in me being able to pay my bills, buy groceries, etc. My job is my number one priority.
I do allow an hour break for lunch as I do work full time most days. On days when I work part time I take a half hour break or just a quick momentary break to run downstairs, grab a snack and go back in my office and continue with whatever tasks are at hand that particular day.
In the beginning it was hard for me to take working at home seriously. I was a lot more lax than I should have been. I used to work on my laptop in my bed, with morning television providing a soundtrack in the background.
I had to dedicate an office to my work. That took care of a large part of my problem. I was shocked at how easy it was to focus and treat the job as a real job and not just something I was doing while at home, once I mentally prepared myself and set aside a dedicated office.
The most rewarding thing about working from home for me personally is that I am comfortable. I live in New England so it is great not to have to get out of bed early in the morning and have to go outside to battle the elements like cold and snow in winters. When work is done I have no commute, so I can easily begin cleaning, cooking, and other daily preparations that must be done for myself and my family.
I make good money and have fun. I could make more money, but I think sacrificing a few dollars for my own comfort has proven to be well worth it.
It's especially great if you're busy with small children and only have time to work part-time. I think there is no better place to work for someone with those kind of constraints than in their own home. That way you are still there for your children when they get home from school or you can go pick them up. It is really convenient. I'd recommend working at home to anyone.