Windows Tip Sheet

Taking Care of Your Most Precious Resource

You do a fantastic job with server, remote device, PC and laptop maintenance. Hey, don't forget about personal maintenance.

This week's tip is about maintaining the most important piece of your network: you. I've been in many organizations where the IT staff runs full speed from the moment they come in the door. Hopefully you're not in such a situation. Still, it's very easy to get tied to your desk or the datacenter without taking a break. You should be allocated at least time for lunch.

I encourage you to take it. I also encourage you to take it away from your desk and if at all possible away from work. Get some fresh air. Take a walk. Read a book. Do a crossword or Sudoku. Do something that is not work related. If you go out with co-workers talk about anything else but work. You need to give you mind a rest.

This may seem like common sense but sometimes it takes a friendly reminder. I know that in my situation this is especially hard. I work at home, where it is very easy to stay glued to my chair and to work right through lunch. Some of you may be the same way. But I know it's not healthy physically or mentally. At least with warmer weather coming in my neck of the woods it will be easier to take a lunch break and go out and shoot some hoops.

I think you'll find that even if you have a tough problem at work, taking a break actually helps. It's amazing how the subconscious keeps working.

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"But what about work?" It will be there. For better or worse, one thing about information technology is that the work never stops. You can never get "caught up." Think of the post office where the mail never stops coming. In some ways our line of work is no different, which is why it's critical we perform some critical self-maintenance at least a few days a week.

So next time lunch rolls around, get out of the building and do something that you like to do. And if you work at home, what do you do to get away from work? I'd love to hear what about it. Post a comment or send me e-mail and we'll share some of the more interesting ones in this column.

About the Author

Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in Windows PowerShell. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff has written for numerous online sites and print publications, is a contributing editor at Petri.com, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups.

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