“I simply have too much time in the day” –No IT Pro Ever
I’m sure there are those rare few out there that have found a Garden of Eden when it comes to time. However, this post is not for those lucky individuals. It’s for everyone else. As IT professionals, we work hard, things get busy and then we work harder. It’s not ideal and it’s not necessary either. Lift with your brain. There is life outside of work and trust me, it is usually a lot more fun as well.
We have all been there. Or at least we’ve all seen it. Those glossy eyes, that blank stare. Sleep has evaded us again. Late night server maintenance, an emergency call or something else has caught us off guard. Now, I won’t say there is a magic formula that makes this all go away, because there isn’t. What I will say is that if you are more effective and ultimately more efficient, you can drastically reduce those extra hours you end up working.
Now let’s get to the real quote:
“Ability is nothing without opportunity” – Napoleon Bonaparte
You are a rock star at a help desk, a wizard at automation and a genius when it comes to troubleshooting. That’s why you’re in your position. But let’s throw in some trouble users, a difficult project and a micromanaging executive. Are you still as effective? No. Are your talents showcased? No. Are you adding as much value to your organization as you can? No. This is the real world and it is unavoidable. You could complain but it won’t change anything. The only thing you can change is the way you approach the situation. So, to get back to the quote, your abilities and technical skills are worthless if you cannot create an opportunity for them to shine through. This is where time management comes into play.
I look at time management as establishing an unbiased list of priorities, guarding yourself from distractions when necessary and making time for the opening/closing of your day.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.