I’ll never forget my first time working from home. In the wee hours of a Sunday morning, I constructed a workspace with the same focus and intensity of a doctor performing open heart surgery. I was meticulous, fastidious and pretty much any other word that meant anal retentive. Why? Because in my mind, the workspace was everything.

It was simple. I thought that as long as my laptop was lined up just so, the glass surface of my desk sparkled and my chair was at optimal ergonomic height, that I could wake up, march over to my computer and produce masterful content not seen since Churchill pounded out his six-volume book series on the second World War. So I bounced out of bed at 6:30 AM, brushed my teeth and sat down in front of my computer. In two short hours, it hit me: everything I thought about working from home was a lie.

My desk was a jumble of papers. Construction crews were banging away outside my window. One of my cats jumped up on my keyboard when I was wrapping up a very long, elaborate email and with one paw, erased almost an hour of work. I cursed myself for not setting up draft saves, and nearly wept because … that work at home thing? Yeah. Not that easy.

That was more than 12 years ago. Despite the challenges of tinkering away from an Ikea table in my bedroom (and sometimes living room), I haven’t looked back. With the flexibility, relaxed dress code and convenience of not having to get in a car (on blustery days, especially), the pluses of working from home easily outweigh the minuses. A million-fold.

In this blog series, I’ll share what I’ve learned over the last decade. I’ll write about everything from solving dry-eye to separating work time from playtime, to lightning-fast ways to make oneself presentable for visitors. Above all, I’ll help you scale the three biggest mountains telecommuters must tackle: staying focused, staying organized and being as productive as possible.