I get the weekly SQLskills newsletter, which I always find interesting. There’s usually a video on a topic that teaches me something, and as an avid reader, I enjoy hearing about the books that Paul Randal has read. However the main part is called Paul’s Ponderings and often has some thoughts that really make me think.
In one of the recent newsletters, Paul talked about carpe diem, seize the day, and how we shouldn’t let things slide to tomorrow if we can do them today. The examples relevant to DBAs are some maintenance or preparation items that can be tedious or onerous (Paul’s words), like practicing restores for DR, checking indexes, and tackling some documentation.
Many of us procrastinate tasks at times. Some of us procrastinate constantly, and if we don’t have any impetus pushing us to complete an item, we may delay it indefinitely. I’ve certainly been guilty of that, but I also have learned that I need to tackle some of those tasks regularly. I certainly want to be sure that my instances are healthy, and for me that’s often meant the tedious tasks of checking backups, space, and indexes as well as practicing restores, even when things were running smoothly. These can be mind numbing tasks, especially when you have scripts that do much of the work, but they really do ensure things continue to run smoothly for long periods of time.
There are plenty of methods for motivating yourself, but I’ve found that setting a few monthly reminders and bunching up smaller tasks allows me to get all the busy work over with at one time. Being a DBA requires some creativity and skills, but it can also require a nose to the grindstone on a regular basis, no matter how boring that may be.