I just finished doing a simple deployment on a busy day during a busy week of a busy month of a busy career. I had to run a few SQL Scripts that were reviewed (I also reviewed them quickly), had to run them in order based on a simple note checked in with the scripts. It took me about 15 minutes. Could they have given me one .bat file or sqlcmd script or used SSIS? Sure.
You know what though? I liked it.
Ooh Ooh Let me take that on!
That is my attitude far too often. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s a hero complex, maybe it’s a desire to please others (Though my wife would ask, and I can’t blame her, why I don’t have that same attitude at home with chores). Whatever the reason, I often get involved in a lot of areas and stretch myself thin. The more complex or the more room for improvement, the better. I hate things being done wrong (That’s why I post about my pet peeves), I like to be a part of a successful project. So I take on a lot and try to offer help and mentorship wherever I can. In doing that, I get swamped (a lot of the time I get swamped regardless of my desires, it’s part of the job really).
If I am to be truly honest with myself (and you), I often find myself with a disdain for the mundane, rote tasks. “I can handle more, I can be used more”, is what runs through my head. Why, though? I’m doing myself a huge disservice.
Mundane Tasks Can Be Your Best Friend!
To illustrate. Before doing today’s script, I was in a stressful meeting discussing the best way to approach things. I have been dealing with some stressful support issues, trying to fight to get the right security setup so DB Mail can work (future post to come) and trying to cut down the SQL Sprawl here. I have far too much to do but this deployment had to be done.
I got to enjoy a quiet, peace for 15-20 minutes. I didn’t have to think a whole lot (yes make sure I review the script, connect to the right environment, backup first, etc.). I got to just press buttons and relax. It was really fantastic. For a minute there, the things rushing around in my head disappeared because I had to have a single focus but at the same time it was an almost disconnected focus.
Maybe you don’t struggle with a disdain for the simple. Maybe you have already figured out what I have been learning a lot lately: focus on the important things and change what you can change. I am going to really try these coming weeks and months to force myself to have times of simple tasks, times of relaxation while doing work. I am going to try to ignore 50% of those hallway conversations I walk past (“Oh just use a trigger”, “Well referential integrity doesn’t need to be declared”, “Just shrink the transaction log”, etc) and not try and always be that go to guy. Now I won’t stop learning, stop caring but I am just going to stop caring so much that it takes a simple 15 minute deployment to make me stop and think.
Appreciate the Simple
So where I work we have several teams doing work. Some deployments are great, automated, scripted and don’t require my time much. Some require a lot of back and forth, get frustrating and never improve. Today’s was not scripted but still an awesome setup. I sent an e-mail thanking them for the way they checked it in, thanking them for keeping it simple. Take time to appreciate your coworkers when they hit the target, especially when they hit the bullseye.
It’s great weather out lately. I’ll be taking the kids for a walk a lot more when I get home too. If you don’t have kids yet, what a great way to get out of work mode (yes, far too often I have to logon when they go to bed, even while they are still awake at times). Took them for a walk last night and just listening to my 3 year old talk to me and my 1 year old just cracked me up. Watching my son (the 1 year old) go crazy each time he saw a bird was a riot. You don’t get to have that feeling while fighting with the SAN team to think in terms of performance and not size only. I highly suggest finding a spouse and getting some kids 🙂 (Disclaimer: they still can add to stress but it’s a totally different kind)