Kind of a convoluted title, I know, but I get questions like this every now and then: @BrentO read your article on your home setup, any chance there could be a follow up on how you have things configured? You’re using a Mac, but how do you do SQL stuff effectively on a non windows platform? Would be helpful to share any tips. — Chris Lumnah (@lumnah) September 25, 2018 Chris and I had a good conversation on Twitter, and I figured it’s time to post an updated version of how I work. I have a “fake job” – I’m…Read
Guy Glantser read my 2009 post on how I use GTD’s 50,000 foot goals, and commented: Hi Brent, It’s been 8 years since you wrote this post, and it’s still very inspirational today. Thank you for that! I wonder if you are still using the same methods today. If not, how have you evolved the GTD process over the years? I would love to read a followup post, or at least a short update. Thanks! Great question! Here’s how I use GTD, RTM, retreats, and the Epic Life Quest to manage my life. The book Getting Things Done tells you…Read
In a recent SQLServerRadio.com podcast episode, @Guy_Glantser and @MatanYungman talked about how they organize their work. I wrote about how I managed emails and tasks in 2015, and a lot of that is still true. My work environment I have two older monitors: an old 32″ QHD primary, and a 24″ 1080p secondary with Slack and Google Analytics: Desktop circa fall 2017 In our company Slack #general room, we get notifications for stuff like new blog posts, relevant DBA.StackExchange.com questions, and new PasteThePlan entries. We have a separate #development room for stuff like First Responder Kit Github issue changes, check-ins,…Read
Before you freelance or become an independent consultant, you’d think the hardest thing would be getting other people to say yes. You’d think it’d be hard to find work, or find interesting projects to work on in your spare time. Oh, no. Not even close. You can always find work if you lower your prices far enough, and you can always find spare time projects if you value your time low enough. But if you say yes to everything, you lock up your calendar. Then, when interesting (or more high-paying) things come along later, you’re not available. Even during the day,…Read
After I published my NextDesk Terra Pro standing desk review, the folks at FluidStance offered me a free Level to review. It’s like a skateboard, but with a convex aluminum bottom. You balance on it while you work. FluidStance Level My first concern: I’m probably going to fall off, right? I normally leave my chair mat in place to protect the carpet from my chair, and when I stand at the desk, I plop down my cushy anti-fatigue standing mat. I didn’t want to use the Level atop my anti-fatigue mat or my bare carpet because the pressure would probably ruin them…Read
I never really got into podcasts. I don’t commute, and while I’m working, I don’t like listening to things that make me think. (It’s hard enough for me to concentrate as it is.) But buying an iPhone 6 Plus made me love podcasts because the phone is just too damn big. I spend about 1-2 hours a day walking Ernie, my little miniature Schnauzer mix. For years, I’ve used that time to catch up on blogs and the news. When the ginormous iPhone 6 Plus came out, I thought, “Perfect! I’ll be able to see blogs better.” WRONG. It’s a horrible device for one-handed web…Read
My email inbox feels like a battlefield. In a typical recent month, I had: I received 4,897 emails from 642 people, 76% of which were sent directly to me I sent 773 emails to 198 people. 55% of my replies were sent within 15 minutes (and that average includes emails I received overnight) My email client of choice: Gmail.com. A few years ago, Jeremiah talked me into abandoning apps altogether in favor of the plain old web browser, and it was a tough change, but worth it. How I triage incoming email Is it an automated email? If it’s part of a newsletter, distribution…Read
Get them while you can. Always assume that the person on the other end gets hundreds of emails per day, and they’ve got 60 seconds free as they walk to their next meeting with their phone in their hand. Your goal is to give them everything they need to understand your request in the first 30 seconds, and use the next 30 seconds to give it to you. Write these six sentences – no more, no less: Say hi like a human being. Explain your connection to them. Explain what you need. Explain why you need it. Give them everything they need…Read
Here’s some of my favorite stuff. No affiliate links, just recommendations. The One Service Every Consultant Should Use Internet plumbing glue as a service: Zapier – from free to $99/month. I have to start with this one because it’s the service we use to tie everything together. It listens for triggers and takes actions. For example, when you buy an online class from me, Zapier registers you for the webinars you picked, subscribes you to your chosen email newsletters, and makes an entry in our customer relationship software. All of that without any web development work whatsoever – now, there’s still plenty…Read
I telecommute full time and I try to stop working at 5PM – part of the whole partner & family thing in my Epic Life Quest – but when I’m in the zone surfing /r/gifs for DBAreactions ideas, time flies by. I wanted a gentle reminder that it’s around 4:30PM, and I need to start wrapping things up. I hate jarring alarms, so I added a couple of candles on my windowsill: Candle Corner Inside each of the glass candleholders is a battery-operated votive candle with a built-in timer. You just turn this on at 4:30PM (or whenever), and it’ll come on…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in California with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.