Working from home is a constant challenge to keep yourself motivate so that your business thrives and is profitable. When I first became a freelance writer (my first work-at-home job) I was constantly pushing the envelope of the deadlines that my editors set for me. This made me a stressed and poor freelance writer because there's nothing more sacred than a deadline to an editor.
When I first left the office and started working from home, I had no idea what it would really be like to actually WORK AT HOME. In order to work at home you need a different (though similar and complimentary) skillset from those skills required in an office or retail setting. Here's a snapshot of what it's like to actually work at home. Mind you, I don't have children or anything else comparable to that level of distraction, just my Darling Husband (who was a student at the time).
If you're new to the home office, or if you're considering making the transition, consider getting involved with a work at home group. These groups provide support, networking, resources and advice that can be invaluable when you're feeling lonely and isolated at home all day.
As with any new undertaking, making sure to have the right tools with which to get the job done. Working online requires some basics (internet access & a computer) but there are also lots great tools out there that can help you be productive and work smarter not just harder. From email and cloud computing to productivity tracking, having the right tools from the beginning will help you get off on the right foot. Even if you're alrady working from home, there are lots of free tools which can make you more productive and therefore more money.
Beyond having the right tools, the key to working from home and making money is being able to seperate your work time from your personal time. This is one of my personal biggest struggles still today. When you work at home, you're always at work. This means that it's very easy to procrastinate and end up compromising both your work life and your home life. I've found that, for me, going somewhere away from the house (such as a coffee house or the library) durring my day helps me get in the right mental framework.