I am a community college instructor and 2/3 of my classes I teach online. These are also good tips for my students or other online teachers.
I find that setting and sticking to a schedule helps, but I break my schedule into 'short' bursts of about 2 hours each. Then I take a break, do all that distracting stuff and then go back. It's easier to say, "I'll go check the mail box in 30 minutes when my two hour 'shift' ends," than it is to say, "I'll check the mail box in four hours on my lunch hour." Pacing is important. I'd much rather work four 2-hour shifts scattered throughout the day than two four hour shifts separated by a lunch hour. It is also easier to deal with those external distractions since you are never more than two hours away from being able to read that book or give that backrub.
Don't try to duplicate the office schedule in your home. One of the strengths of telecommuting is being able to work in a manner which makes you more efficient and not less. I work well in the late night hours - like after midnight. I work less well at 8 a.m. So, I adjust my work schedule accordingly.
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