I got some great feedback on the topic of working from home from Debra Helwig, a reader of one of my newsletters.
Happily, she agreed to let me post her comments here. I think she has got the discipline of working from home figured out pretty well.
"I actually have an honest to goodness Herman Miller cubicle in my basement - salvaged from when my company went "virtual office" and sold off all the office furniture. I have it set up in such a way that it's a completely contained work area, with all the equipment and supplies I need to work within two steps' distance and completely separated from my personal stuff. When I go to work in the morning, I go downstairs to the office and really "go to work" - it's exactly the same as when I worked in a big office, just 10 steps' commute instead of 40 miles.
I've discovered that I really do have to keep the two parts of my life (work and home) discrete; my focus & mindset for each is very different, and if I try to blend the two they both become muddy and less efficient. So when I work, I work - and I work hard. When I'm home, I'm home, and I don't check email every 10 minutes or try to do "one more thing" in between dinner and the baby's bath.
I tried that for a while and just wound up working 24/7 and became exhausted. Successfully being productive in a home office environment requires the right mindset than anything else - but having a completely separate physical space definitely helps too."