You just got a request to update those management access-list…again. You’ve done that last week.
Q3 security audit is coming. You need to prove privileges are set correctly…again.
The list goes on. There are tasks that have to be done repetitively. Let’s see why doing these manually may not be the best for you – in my opinion.
Let me share my thoughts on what you might be missing out on if you spend your time on repetitive work.
Note: There are cases when the effort is not worth the win. The systems need to have some sort of support for automation. For example, updating spreadsheets can be challenging, but if you have a database, it may be easier.
There is a very dangerous trap when you’re busy. You may can’t see the wood for the trees. When you step back and reflect what’s really going on in your job, you can come up with something much better, but please stop saying, “I am too busy”. Ask rather: ‘What is I can do differently that’d save me time?’
Who wants to be bored?
When you need to do something repetitive, do you trust yourself that you’ll concentrate for hours and your attention will be sharp 100% of the time? I don’t trust myself for sure. There are better and worse days, but I need to do my job to the highest standards on the worse days too. Automation systems are not tired and will perform something for the tenth time with the same accuracy as the first.
Automating frequent and small tasks are an easy start, that more complex problems can be tackled as you get more experience.
Be in control without being a control freak!
When someone’s busy often gets the advice: delegate! Easier said than done. Delegation requires a huge trust that others will perform a task as well as we are. Performing a task requires common sense, knowledge of the environment, potentially covering corner cases and many other things. The result may need to be presented in a certain format. If a task is defined in a programmatic way, there is less chance it will be done ‘wrong’. Plus, you can delegate to a computer rather than to another overwhelmed colleague.
Make time for the fun stuff
The second, third time you spent doing the same thing takes away time from important and creative work. I’d rather “play” with something new than doing the “drill”.
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Till next time…