Today may be one of the most important days of my career. I just started using “the cycle”, as Tom explains in Chapter 4 of his wonderful book Time Management for System Administrators. If you are struggling (as I am) with infinite requests and a stressful life, please take a look at it. It will change your life! 🙂
Last week I also participated in a stress-prevention workshop at my company, and I learned a lot of useful tips to improve my quality of life. Yesterday morning I took two LPIC exams, and in the afternoon I used some free time to design my own personalized “cycle”. It’s basically the same one Tom writes in his book, but I’ve added some stress related info on the schedule:
- Thought leading to stress
- Stress level
I also use one extra column to write down the incident or change activity related to the item I’m working on, so I can find more info about it in TOPbeheer (our own request tracking system). Cool, eh? 🙂
The idea is to spend 10 minutes every day making a plan:
- Create today’s schedule with items from my work calendar (I use it also for private appointments).
- Create today’s todo list with requests from TOPbeheer, e-mails and personal stuff (yes, I also include private items on my todo list!).
- Prioritize and reschedule. I haven’t gone through the priority system yet (that’s chapter 8), but I write an estimated time and if the total is more than the hours I should work, I move the item to another day.
- Work the plan. Today I just went through the items I already planned yesterday, and because some appointments were cancelled, I did some extra stuff. At the end of each task I wrote down the time I spent, so afterwards I can correct my time estimation process and I also have a way to fill in my hours in LIFT.
- Finish the day. The last item took a bit longer than expected, but I almost finished everything. I moved 3 items to tomorrow.
- Drink an Hertog Jan and leave the office. At 5 o’clock (when you have finished work) you are allowed to drink beer with your colleagues (and for free). So why not enjoy it? 😀
- Repeat. Tomorrow I’ll do the same. Today I hadn’t many incidents on my todo list, but tomorrow is front office day, so I’ll work on that.
What do you think? Of course I also end up late (and tired), but I had a good feeling, like I could control the situation. I had some interruptions (via IM), but I registered incidents for each of them.
I’m happy to have a system that I can also use for my private appointments. My friends know that I always go around with different todo lists (“the scattered notes system”) or my “long list of doom” (without end and completely unrealistic). Now I can have both work and private things in one sheet of paper per day. All of them organized and together. I still have to find a better way to transport it, but for what is left of the month of December it should do.
Look, I even had time to write a post about this. Yuppie!
Thanks Miriam! Thanks Tom! 🙂