Time Management for System Administrators

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Nov 22, 2005 - Computers - 228 pages
10 Reviews

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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Great Book, no DRM
I wish Google would call out the books that skip the DRM. I'd buy them preferentially. This book is a must for ALL sysadmins. Most of us can handle the technical issues in our
jobs, but far too many struggle with how to work on many different things efficiently. This book lays out some good, documented rules that you can refer to in discussions with your boss and project managers. Here's a sample quote from the book-- I couldn't say it better myself. "Interruptions are the natural enemy of focus. They steal time from us both directly and indirectly. The direct way they steal time is obvious: an interruption that stalls us for t minutes delays task completion by t minutes. That's easy. However, the indirect way that they steal time is more insidious. When you return from an interruption, you have to spend p minutes to figure out where you left off. If you were interrupted during the third step of a multipart process, do you return to step three or step four? Figuring out where you left off is extra work that steals time from the project." 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I have just completed this book and loved it. I thought the author did a great job relating to me and my personal experience as a systems administrator. Additionally, Tom has a great sense of humor and applied it throughout the manuscript. I would recommend this book to any systems administrator at any level. The book is a very quick read, but it's packed with tips and tricks to help SAs excel at their career. This book makes a great gift. 

Contents

Focus Versus Interruptions
12
Routines
32
The Cycle System
48
To Do Lists and Schedules
58
Calendar Management
80
Life Goals
92
Prioritization
101
Email Management
124
Eliminating Time Wasters
133
Documentation
145
Automation
157
Epilogue
191
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Page ix - There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

About the author (2005)

Thomas A. Limoncelli is a noted system and network administrator employed at Google. He speaks at conferences worldwide on a variety of topics.

Christina J. Hogan has more than ten years' system administration experience. She now works at the BMW Sauber F1 team as an aerodynamicist.

Strata R. Chalup is a twenty-year veteran of system administration and technical project management. She is the founder of Virtual.Net, Inc.

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