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Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart
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Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  726 ratings  ·  52 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 pr ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2005)
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Tessa
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in GTD systems
Shelves: gtd-productivity
This is one of the first books I put on my SafariBooksOnline account back in 2006.

I'm known as a bit of a "GTD fanatic". Not because I'm so organized and methodical, but rather because I'm a mess and always looking for better ways to contain the disarray. I must read 2 or 3 books a year (even after this book) regarding organization and time management but, this is the one and only book I keep coming back to that has methods that work.. for me.

I loved the concepts and overall organization strateg
...more
Jurvis
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
My resolution this year was to get better organized and make more effective use of my time (aka getting better at life). This book was chock full of common sense for this goal. He touched on many habits I currently have, connecting them with the reason I'd developed them and placed them in a larger framework for being a better sysadmin. He also augmented the stereotypical, "get a planner and use it" advice with many tasks specific to my profession (maintaining documentation, managing ticket queu ...more
Dave
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: productivity, tech
There's definitely a big chunk of this which is dated, but I really liked the core time management part ("The Cycle").

The dated part includes such nuggets as the fact that there is a service called "Netflix" which can send me DVDs by post, and an introduction to the strange and foreign concept of the "wiki". :)

The real core of the book is up to chapter 8, with the first 4 acting as a kind of gentle intro. 9-13 I mostly skipped, finding them pretty outdated or basic.

Lastly, I'm a programmer rathe
...more
Brad
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great ideas in this book. Now comes the hard part: implementation (though I've already seen a positive influence in my work life just through an initial reading). I'm sure I'll be reviewing this book frequently.

Better than GTD; I've tried that system for years, but it's overly complex and not really as flexible as it purports to be.
Vitaly
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Это была моя первая книга по тайм-менеджменту вообще. Она открыла мне глаза, что время можно организовывать и дала толчок на развитие.
Книга достаточно полезная, реально помогла разгрести и своё время и всего отдела. Много полезных советов и методов.
Huy
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favorite books.
Although context are dated, various ideas are still very relevant, e.g scheduling, making day/week/month plan, blocking out time for focusing, even stress and email management.
How to carry out the recommendation in this book may differ with time (I mean who have their own office rooms to lock door and focus anymore?), but the core ideas for time management in this book are always relevant.

The writing style is entertaining and easy to read, that I think many
...more
Denis Vasilev
Тайм менджмент 0.5. С юмором и по делу, но ничего нового, если видели хотя бы пару книг по теме.
Skirmantas Bingelis
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gera knyga apie laiko valdymą. Tinka nebūtinai sistemų administratoriams, tačiau ir bet kam, kieno darbe dažni pertraukimai ir tiems, kurie turi daug planų, siekių gynime, bet nepavysta visko suspėti. "Jei manai, jog neturi laiko perskaityti šios knygos, reiškia ši knyga yra tau". Knyga nedidelės apimties, joje aprašoma autoriaus siūloma laiko valdymo metodika, patarimai kaip taikant ją siekti gyvenimo tikslų ir pan.
Rose Lerner
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is changing my life as we speak. I'm not a system administrator but I think the advice is great for anyone who does self-directed work (for me, writing). It's very straightforward, practical advice. I highly, highly recommend it.
Marc Perry
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this is truly an excellent book whose title happens to sound a little bit ho-hum. In terms of productivity pr0n (is that how it's spelled, with the R and the O swapped, and replacing the O with a zero?) I found this book more useful, in a practical sense than the holy trinity of productivity books: "Getting Things Done", "Eat That Frog", and "The Now Habit." This has been my bible for the past two years. If you struggle with prioritization and procrastination, I urge you to read t ...more
Jen
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My job has a lot of "OMG DO THIS NAOW!!1!" things that come up. I also have many meetings. And on top of all that, I need to work towards long-term projects. While I'm not a true Sys Admin and so didn't get a lot out of the very last chapter of the book, there's still a great deal of good information. Many of the concepts are the same as the GTD school of time management, but it includes building time into your day for interruptions.

Worth reading.
Arian Muharremi
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has some interesting ideas. Make sure to write down what you find useful for your situation. As you move through the positions and responsibilities, you may need to re-read the book.

I recommend it not only to SAs but to anyone who has do work with clients (users). It is intended for SAs but some lessons can be applied in different fields as well.
Mark Dorset
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book, should be standard content for any newer engineer, and a good refresher for seasoned one. Needs a new revision perhaps as PDAs have been very much replaced, and some of the references to websites/applications are out of date.
Zohid
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Отличная книга и не только для системных администраторов!
Daniel
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of good ideas for time management for IT people. One I should likely reread.
Ivan
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although some chapters may seem a bit outdated it is quite decent book and philosophies can be applied today as well. Just replace outdated things with _new_thing_here_.
Adam
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
It's dated and odd (comments toward his dreams of dating a porn star, not kidding). With a ton of good points. Have to get past all the PDA references without snickering. Most people would be better off reading 'Getting things done.'
Josh Brower
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I knew this book was going to be good when I read the following in the Preface:
“My home life looks alot like my work life–You should see the killer server I’ve setup at home. Once I’ve finished tweaking it, I’m going to set up the same thing at work. Very few occupations are like that.
He is describing me exactly!
This is the biggest reason why I enjoyed the book as well as I did–Because it wasn’t a generic time management book (a dime a dozen these days), but it was a time management book written
...more
Mario
Nov 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to better manage their time
This book was written for System Administrators(SA) to manage their time at work, and by extension, their time outside of work. Although I am a techy guy, I am not an SA, nor did I want to manage my time at work, and yet I still feel I got a lot out of the book.

This book helps give a good framework for organizing your life. Tips on how to make and prioritize a todo list, eliminate time wasters, and even manage stress. I did learn some tips on dealing with work situations as well. Plus now I can
...more
Ruben
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book is a little dated about using PDA's as a database since we've now evolved to using smartphones for our daily planners, but other than that, the principals are timeless. I follow a lot of the principals outlined in the book and it's made me a better organized person at work and life since I apply the same Sys admin principals to my life.

I work as a systems administrator and the issues brought in this book relate pretty bang on to my current situation. I'm always putting out fires, fixing pro
...more
Johnny Graber
Ein guter Leitfaden für technisch versierte Leser, die wiederkehrende Tätigkeiten automatisieren können. Die Grundidee ist auch heute noch aktuell, wenn sich auch die Werkzeuge für die Automatisierung in den letzten 10 Jahren weiterentwickelt haben (zum Glück).

Aus meiner Sicht ist das Kapitel zu make für das angestrebte Zielpublikum unpassend. Wer all die anderen Automatisierungen machen kann, kann make entweder bereits oder kennt die entsprechenden Anleitungen. Hier hätte eine Reihe von komplex
...more
Kevin
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Common sense essential techniques for time management in IT and Systems careers. Limoncelli codifies many of the techniques I have used personally, but explains and simplifies them into a great system open to use by any technical or non-technical staff. Some aspects are a bit dated - smartphones have changed the playing field for personal organization over the last decade. Systems people worth their bread should be able to recognize the gaps and see how the tools we have available to us today ca ...more
Alexander
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first time-management book i read, not only covering interrupt-management, but specifically pointing out interrupts as the worst enemy in system administration.
In comparison to the endless books on time-management out there, which can basically be reduced to draw a plan with some action steps, using SMART, the lessons i learned from this book (especially creating interrupt-free windows by collaborating with your collegues) were adapted so far at EVERY company i had to work with, if
...more
Bradley Arlt
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sysadmin, favorites
If you are a sysadmin and haven't read this book. Buy it right now. If you don't have the time to buy it, then you *must* buy it right now. Now lock yourself in your office for one hour and read the first chapter. Then do what it says.

Now you have the time to read the rest of the book.

The secret to this book is two fold
1) Sysadmins have a never ending list of stuff to do. This book says how to pick what and when to do it.
2) I am skeptical about many thing. I am willing to cast a broad stereotype
...more
Doug
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I would recommend this book for anyone starting out in IT in a System/Network Administrator or Desktop Support role. An unfortunate part of that job managing your long term projects and goals while dealing with constant interruptions and break-fix issues.

That being said, this book probably won't benefit experienced admins too much. As an alternative I would recommend Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
TheFinalWolf
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Despite it being a little dated, this is one of the few Self-help books I've actually been able to finish from cover to cover. The guy is pretty funny and practical. I still use a Sysadmin sheet .pdf I found online that has a layout similar to the book since we can't use electronic devices in my line of work. Lifesaver.
Ryan
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some of the practical examples are dated, but that's to be expected in this industry. The techniques and insights are as applicable now as they were when the book was written. I've already implemented modified versions of some of his methods and find they are working quite well for me. Definitely worth a read... or two...
Ivan
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Книги про тайм-менеджмент более менее одинаковые. Но это очень хороша. Лимончелли пишет не обобщенные советы для разных людей. Нет, у него только про администраторов. Но зато рассмотрены все типичные проблемы - множество срочны и мелких задач, слабый "софт-скилл", советы по автоматизации. Отличная книга.
Leeroy
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, the books has a lot of concrete, actionable advice.

Some of the ideas were things I do differently, but essentially do.
Others were things I do-ish, and forced me to reevaluate if I do them adequately.
Some are things I wish I did, and will potentially be more successful at in future.

If you think you might be the target audience for this book, read it.
Fitz Busher
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to help admins organise their work and play.

It feels a bit dated, talking about using your PDA, but the skills are transferable. It would be interesting to see what apps or online services would be suggested to use today.

I recommend any aspiring or current IT admin to read and re-read this book.
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