I've had to wear many hats working in the frenetic world of startups, and one thing has always concerned me: how best to spread my time between tasks without becoming distracted by requests that I can't delegate. Two books have taught me to operate quickly and effectively, optimise the time I spend working, and get more done.

  • The Practice of System and Network AdministrationThe Practice of System and Network Administration guides its reader through any and all technical tasks a startup requires, from upgrading a dekstop machine to installing a data centre's high availability power systems. It recommends processes (and details how to implement them in the workplace), shows how to provide and monitor services (email, print, backups etc) and offers management tips and practices. It's a definitive, platform-agnostic bible.


  • Time Management for System AdministratorsTime Management for System Administrators deals with focus, prioritisation and a simple-but-effective system of managing requests (I use a variation on this system to manage my daily and ongoing workload). The chapters on email management, documentation and automation all provide recommendations that can be integrated into any workflow without dramatically changing it.