My (Personal) Checklist

Since I got back from SQL Pass in October, it seems like I have barely had time to breathe. I have been having a really hard time balancing work, consulting, blogging and family. I understand that this time of year, our schedules really begin to fill up quickly and I have been falling behind on a of lot activities. I was trying to accomplish too many things in
too short of a time. My general rule of thumb is that my family will always come first. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I can always find another job, but I can’t find another family. However, coming home at night worrying about what I didn’t finish that day was getting old.

I started thinking; most of us SQL Admins have daily checklists that we use when we get to work first thing in the morning to check our environments. Why not do this for myself, but on a more extended time frame.  So I started making a list of what I wanted to accomplish over the next 3-6 months. Once I had it all written down, I started to prioritize the items based on what was most important, what had hard deadlines and what I would like to do. Once I had them prioritized, I started to break them down into what I can accomplish
quickly and what is going to take a significant amount of time. I figured that if I can complete one easy thing a day from the list on top of everything else that pops up during the normal work day, I would at least leave with a sense of accomplishment for that day. However, I also wanted to try and chip away at some of the bigger and more time consuming projects.

I have since been keeping track of everything I work on during the day so when I come in the next morning, I know exactly where I left off the day before and can quickly jump back in. This has really forced me to stay on task and not get as distracted by everyday issues. If something new comes up, I add it to the list and re-prioritize if needed.

I feel like now I am better able to balance my work day and not go home at the end of the day feeling stressed and worried about what I need to do the next day.

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