System Admin Time Management: Principles

5174 2018-11-12 22:02

It is very inspiring to learn time management from system admins (SAs). We and SAs all share the same challenges - neverending interruptions, simultaneous projects and rush requests.

And SAs have to deal with those issues even more often, as Thomas Limoncelli says:

Management judges an SA by whether projects get done. Customers, however, judge you by whether you are available to them.

Here are SAs’ principles of time management.

  • Interruption is the archenemy of productivity.

    • Sharing a mutual interruption shield with co-workers so that only one person is distracted in one period.
    • Blocking a large chunk of project time
    • Closing the door (not suitable for managers)
    • letting junior engineers sit outside to filter incoming 80% interruptions for you first
  • unify all time management information into one place.

  • conserve the brain power for things important

  • don’t make yourself think to manage time; instead, develop routines, habits, and mantras.

    • Routines are serials of pre-defined steps happen at a particular time.
    • Habits are routines people can do things without thinking.
    • Mantras are simple rules of thumb.
  • keep focus during the project time. It takes discipline though.

    • Discipline gains people more self-esteem. Self-esteem is like poker chips. When we have high self-esteem, we tend to take bigger bets and win bigger.
  • manage your social life with same tools.


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