Time Management for System Administrators

Time Management for System Administrators

Thomas A. Limoncelli

Language: English

Pages: 228

ISBN: 0596007833

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Time is a precious commodity, especially if you're a system administrator. No other job pulls people in so many directions at once. Users interrupt you constantly with requests, preventing you from getting anything done. Your managers want you to get long-term projects done but flood you with requests for quick-fixes that prevent you from ever getting to those long-term projects. But the pressure is on you to produce and it only increases with time. What do you do?

The answer is time management. And not just any time management theory--you want Time Management for System Administrators, to be exact. With keen insights into the challenges you face as a sys admin, bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli has put together a collection of tips and techniques that will help you cultivate the time management skills you need to flourish as a system administrator.

Time Management for System Administrators understands that an Sys Admin often has competing goals: the concurrent responsibilities of working on large projects and taking care of a user's needs. That's why it focuses on strategies that help you work through daily tasks, yet still allow you to handle critical situations that inevitably arise.

Among other skills, you'll learn how to:

  • Manage interruptions
  • Eliminate timewasters
  • Keep an effective calendar
  • Develop routines for things that occur regularly
  • Use your brain only for what you're currently working on
  • Prioritize based on customer expectations
  • Document and automate processes for faster execution

What's more, the book doesn't confine itself to just the work environment, either. It also offers tips on how to apply these time management tools to your social life. It's the first step to a more productive, happier you.

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spend it catching up with email and voice mail. Instead of letting these tasks consume your first hour, why not check your email for subject lines that look important (or email that's from your boss), read those, and then shut off your email reader. Now spend that first hour on a project. You won't have nearly as many interruptions, and the email will be there when you're done. Besides, if you go in really early, no one is in the office to read any of your responses, so what's the rush? If you

reach a host with invalid DNS data. The delegate, record, or do process permits you to take back control of your time. Use this when your project work is interrupted. Delegating the task means handing it off to someone else. Recording the task lets you acknowledge the request, but schedule it for later. Doing the task is your last resort, but it should be used for emergencies and outages. When you record it, you gain the ability to plan and schedule rather than being interrupt driven.

as part of The Cycle System introduced in Chapter 4. In this chapter, we'll see how effective calendar management keeps track of your routines and links individual days into a coherent whole. Every organizer has a calendar section, sometimes called a datebook. The calendar is both a repository for information you need for a given day (appointments, deadlines, birthdays, milestones) and a wide-view tool for long-range planning (career advancement, long-term project completion, vacation planning).

By thinking strategically, you can eliminate tactical tasks over the long term. In other words, you can stop mopping the floor and fix the leaking faucet. Chapter 12. Documentation This chapter is about how a good documentation repository can help us as system administrators, especially in our effort to manage our time better. But first, let's talk about why we dislike, fear, and generally avoid writing documentation. We're suspicious of anyone who asks us to document what we do

useful. Bash: alias book='cd ~tal/projects/books/time/chapters' csh: alias book 'cd ~tal/projects/books/time/chapters' Now I can type book whenever I want to be in the right directory for working on my current book. If I start working on a new book, I update the alias. (I've been typing "book" for the last six or so years!) This not only saves typing, it records the location so that you don't have to memorize it. One less thing that you have to remember is always a good idea. To make an

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