We sat down with Jeff Sheldon, the founder and designer of Ugmonk, to chat about how he stays organized while running his lifestyle brand from home. With over 10 years of experience working from home, Jeff shared valuable insights about working from home with a family, getting things done, and what the future of working from home may look like.

  • 0:49 - Jeff is the owner of Ugmonk, a design and lifestyle brand that started off as a side project and grew into a full-time business.
  • 2:55 - Before working from home was as common as it is now, Jeff was working from home as a cost savings sort of thing. Some people work from home because they want to, even though most people are working from home now because they’re forced to.
  • 4:22 - Having a physical space that is separate from “life” and is more of a “work” space is important to getting in the mindset of work and having some separation, even if it is artificial.
  • 8:23 - A regular schedule throughout the week gives a level of certainty and can reduce overall mental strain because you know exactly what you’re going to be doing when, and you can maintain that schedule with your family as well.
  • 10:53 - One of the coolest parts of working from home is being able to include, with boundaries, your family in your own work. They can see a part of who you that might typically exist in some other building or location, and that’s something that can be a new connection point for your family.
  • 11:38 - Having set schedules with your family also helps give intentionality to your work time, because you have a set number of hours that you need to work, which can help prevent wasted time on social media and other distractions.
  • 15:20 - We’re all a work in progress with setting specific work times throughout the day and shutting down at night. Consider removing work-related apps from your phone and log out of things on your computer if you need to use it in the evenings. At the very least, disable all of your notifications.
  • 17:25 - Very few things are truly as urgent as we think they are. Notifications and work-related things can wait and be addressed the following day.
  • 18:52 - Jeff talks about a new product he’s releasing called Analog, a physical productivity system based on 3x5 cards. We also move into talking about other forms of productivity and why physical reminders can be more helpful than digital apps.
  • 33:15 - Ugmonk is going to be shifting to a warehouse very soon, ironically moving out of the “work from home” scene after 12 years into its own personal space.
  • 40:11 - Some final thoughts: keep a regular scheduled, don’t let everything be open ended. Don’t start your day in your email inbox. Know what is enough, whether it’s tasks or time or projects.
  • 43:46 - If you’re listening to this during the global pandemic, keep in mind none of this is normal, and it’s not ideal. It will get better, and you’ll be able to develop a better schedule and process through it all.
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