How to actually get work done while working from home

Telecommuting can help you be incredibly productive. Commuting wastes time, and the office is full of distractions. You just have to set rules for yourself—and follow them.

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When people hear that you work from home, their response is typically positive. They say, “Wow! You’re so lucky!” or “You must love that!”

The truth is, working from home can be great; it can also be a disaster. Picture this:

You rolled out of bed at 7:47 a.m. for your 8 a.m. conference call. Since then, you’ve been on calls back to back. It’s 2 p.m., you haven’t stepped out of your apartment once, and you’re still in your pajamas. You’re surrounded by cookie crumbs and pistachio shells, because—let’s be honest—that’s all you had in your pantry. You’re booked for the rest of the day and have way too much you want to accomplish. It’s not looking good.

I wish I was exaggerating, but my first few weeks of transitioning from working in the office to working from home looked just like what I’ve described above.

The good news is there are ways to make it great. Whether you’re telecommuting to the office or hanging out your own shingle as a freelancer, here are some tips to help you love working from home:

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