Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Time Management for System Administrators" Book and Tutorial Notes

Bought the book after the OSCON tutorial.

I dig it.

Here are my notes:

One system
Conserve brain power
Use routines
Same tools everywhere

Identify your peak time for focus
Use the first hour for high-priority tasks (because everybody else is reading their e-mail)

Always *acknowledge* requests immediately whether or not you can act on them

Record it OR
Delegate it OR
Do it

Active listening - confirm your interpretation
Scheduling is like a hug - it confirms that people matter

Written emergency policy
Written escalation policy

Without a ticket tracker, you need manual tickets
Solution: Trac? NO! Don't use bug-tracking software for ticket-tracking. Different things.

American English/British English as metaphor for nontechnical/technical communication

Turn chaos into routines:
- Buy gas every Sunday
- Schedule key meetings/regular schedule
- Routinize everything you frequently forget

System administration is like gardening

A routine is like a cron job

Habits: hesitate before you hit enter
- Run commands as echo statements first
- Test before coding
- Ping b4 & after disconnecting any cable
- Always backup file b4 editing (version control)

Fire drill:
- Automated random restore request ticket
- Awesome

To-do lists about perfect followthrough
Long-term and life goals: get where you want to be

Zillions of scattered notes: bad
Never-ending list of doom: bad

One to-do list each day
All in one place (vi, PDA, notebook, Franklin, whatever)
Easy to access

x Done
- Moved (record when)
NO Refused (record why)
. Delegated (record who)

<5/23> More info on page for May 23rd

A/B/C - Have to/should/don't

Each morning, routine: check As, check meetings, figure how much time, add Bs and/or Cs if possible

Four pm each day - recheck committments for the day. Contact stakeholders by phone if delayed.

If it has to be done every day, do it first.

Anything which could grow into a huge task, schedule it to the end of the day. That way you get other stuff done first.

Start every day by planning.

Schedule fun things as well as work things.

Unsuccessful people assume opportunities appear. Successful people write down opportunities that they want to see.

Category: | Goal: | Actions:

1 Month
1 Year
5 Years

(chart for graphing next actions on long-term/lifetime goals)

IP address list, like in a bagel place or a butcher's

Work on life goals 5 min each morning
THEN plan the work for the day

End of day - check back in with scheduling system


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