I've often read that the key to successful telecommuting is focus. Not getting yourself distracted by being at home, not letting yourself stray from the computer, etc., etc.
Somehow, I've never had that sort of problem - anything outside the screen just doesn't exist until it either moves, makes noises at me, or, in extreme cases, both.
However, telecommuting when you're sick sucks, because there's no avoiding ear ache, sniffling and throbbing temples - they get in the way by the gist of sitting somewhere between your locus of conscious thought and the screen.
You can do stuff in this state, but it's pretty much like Adventure in a way:
: look You are in bed, going through e-mail on your laptop. You see an e-mail you flagged last Thursday. : open e-mail The e-mail contains a detailed overview of a project. There is a PowerPoint attachment. : open attachment You open the attachment and read through the slides, taking notes as you go. Time passes. Your ears ache. : sniffle You inhale and exhale quickly. The pressure in your inner ear makes it crackle like the needle in an old phonograph. The discomfort fades. : look You are sitting in bed, looking at your computer. Notepad is open. : look at notepad There are notes on a project and a list of action items : do action items You go through the action items. Time passes.
Time passes, indeed, but in a sort of detached, off-hand way, one step at a time. I suppose that if I was being interrupted or somehow distracted at the usual rate of every five minutes while being sick I would go off my rocker, but thankfully this wasn't the case today.
It is boring, however, in the sense that when I interacted with other people, the added level of detachment made it somewhat of a chore (telecommuting in perfect health makes it a lot more fun to talk to people, because your social neurons are in perfect working order).
Still, at least I managed to clear most of my pending items, and seem to be slightly better (no loud noises and no talking seem to have helped).