Productivity during work

During the day there are just SO many things that can keep me from being productive that I’ve created a few habits that helped me increase productivity.
Today I thought I’d share these tips with you 🙂

Music

I <3 listening to music.
However, I’ve noticed that when listening to ‘ordinary music’, my mind drifts when I listen to the lyrics or notice familiar tunes.
Inadvertently I’d lose focus, either changing the song, the volume, humming along etc.

In comes instrumental music/piano music:

Productivity

  • Shut down basic apps like
    • Outlook or other mailclient
    • Skype for Business or other business related IM client
    • Close miscellaneous browser tabs [Twitter,Facebook etc], keeping only the necessary tabs opened.
    • Minimize your ticketing system/app
  • Block your calendar to inform others what you’re working on
  • Set your Operating system and phone to quiet hours/Do Not Disturb

Depending on your work environment, you might want to find an Office for a day to distance yourself from your normal desk and/or work with headphones on [might not be the most social thing to do, but some people do not get the hint]

I’m personally looking in to something called ‘The Productivity Planner‘, as I’ve read good things about it, but others swear by apps like Wunderlist or Microsoft’s To-Do [which might be the same in the future]

What about you?

I’d love to hear about your tips which help you improve your productivity!

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Let’s start over…

Many times over I thought about what I should be blogging about.

PowerShell’s the future and I really like everything PowerShell related, so a theme for the blog was ‘easy’.
However I’m not really a front runner when it comes to IT, so most of the things I’d be playing with have been done before.

I’d get stuck on what to write about, because surely no one would be interested in ‘another basic PowerShell blog’.
Writing doesn’t come naturally to me and English is not my native language, so transferring thoughts to a blog post can be challenging.
Besides that I normally overthink whatever I write, causing a ‘simple’ blog post to take me hours if not days.

What changed?

In 2018 I had a few breakthroughs that jump-started my love for PowerShell again:

All in all, I’m coding more and more again, finding new reasons to look into it and wanting to share my findings with others.

What does this mean for the blog?

Well, besides an updated colour scheme and logo, I want to grow through teaching more and attending/speaking at more seminars.

But I won’t just blog about PowerShell anymore.
I’ll try and write more about various things, such as other technologies I’m playing with [PowerShell related or not], share interesting articles/tweets that I’ve read.

This should mean some posts will be shorter than ‘normal’, but I’m hoping that like with coding,  writing more will help me become a better writer.
Possibly it will even help me create content more easily.

All in all, let’s start writing again 🙂

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Knowledge is power..

I’ve recently had some discussions with my colleagues about certifications, experience, knowledge etc. and was asked to share information on how I got to where I am today and what I use to keep furthering up.

While I had given those colleagues a direct answer and had thought about writing an email to several of them with some basic information, I thought sharing this information with a larger audience would be handy…. That way I can simply update the information and point to my site if there’s a change.

So without further ado..

While always being keen on learning, I was particularly triggered by 2 quotes made by Don Jones [Pluralsight and PowerShell guru] which I think are essential mindsets that should help you progress:

If you’re not willing to invest in your career, why should anyone else?

and

Your career is your career, not your company’s. You should be focusing on the technologies and techniques that you know are important to the industry, whether your company needs you to, wants you to, or pays for you to or not

I could easily copy more quotes from him that I find interesting, but instead I’ll just refer to 2 posts made on his site which I would highly recommend reading:

https://donjones.com/2015/03/04/the-most-inspiring-powershell-story-ever/

https://donjones.com/2015/05/26/how-i-keep-up-with-it-and-my-career/

 

Less talk, more do..

Besides just theory and articles, here are some resources which I recommend using when trying to further your career [focused on Microsoft curriculum].
Also know that furthering your career means certifications, theory and experience… so don’t just focus on one and not the other.

Resources

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    Microsoft’s counterpart to Pluralsight, only this one is free, but restricted to purely Microsoft products
  • Microsoft TechNet Virtual Labs
    In case you need some hands-on access to a lab for a specific subject.
  • Microsoft Channel 9
    More access to video training, seminars and other activities such as Build, Summits etc.
  • Pluralsight
    Awesome access to video training.
    Not free [except for trial period], but personally I think worth every penny.
  • Microsoft Press Store
    Official Microsoft books which can be handy for your certifications.
    Be aware on the lookout for offers which can easily provide up to 40% discount.
  • Manning
    Awesome technical books to expand your knowledge.
    While these don’t usually focus on certifications, they tend to have a lot of actual real-world subjects.
    Not to mention their MEAP [Manning Early Access Program], which allows for access to books while they are still being written and the fact that buying a physical book automatically gives you access to the e-book version [why don’t other publishers do this…].
  • Test exams for Microsoft can be done through either of the following companies:
    Measure-Up , Transcender of Kaplan Selftest.

Personal experience

Try and find user groups relating your field of interest near to you.
Networking can really help you get in touch with like minded people and this will further your chain of knowledge at lightning speeds].
For The Netherlands here are some resources to known User Groups [UG’s]:

  • DuPSUG
    Dutch PowerShell User Group
  • WMUG
    Windows Management User Group in The Netherlands [also SCCM UG]
  • NLVMUG
    NL VMWare User Group

Besides User Groups, you also have Facebook Groups and of course Twitter feeds.
On my New to PowerShell post you can find some PowerShell related Twitter feeds that might be interesting.

 

All in all

Be willing to spend time to grow..
While I’m sure some people will tell me I’ll never grow any further, I’m sure they meant my physical stature… right @365Dude? 😉

Don’t let others keep you down, but it takes effort even stay afloat in IT.
If you’re the lazy type or don’t like learning, learn efficiently.

If that still doesn’t do it for you, IT might not be the branch for you.
In which case, don’t be surprised if you get automated in the near future 🙂

 

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