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Falling Behind and Digital Bankruptcy

I travel a fair bit during part of the year. During that time, I end up prepping a number of items as I know I won't have much time to deal with those items while on the road. I may try to get a few things done when traveling, but often I fall behind on regular work and certainly on some communications. I can return to a slew of emails, Slack messages, forum notifications and articles. I may have some SPAM issues or other administrative tasks that have slipped in the cracks as well that will impact my day.

And often, chores as well. Outside of work, there are certain things I find myself taking care of on the ranch, which can limit how much extra time I might be able to spend on work items catching up. That's probably a good thing.

Sometimes I find myself declaring digital bankruptcy and just deleting a series of emails or marking Slack channels as read or removing forum notifications. While it's possible I might miss something important, it's also a huge time sink to dig into each area that I've fallen behind on. The lesson here might be if I've forgotten about something you asked me to do, ping me again. My boss certainly does.

This isn't just because of travel. I've found myself falling further and further behind when I work at a company and never travel. Vacation or time off certainly can cause issues, but big projects have a similar effect. When I've had to write lots of code or assemble complex infrastructure, many other tasks take a lower priority with me. I'll get to some of them, but a few will fall away, and I often abandon them without some prompting from another person. This has even happened with some firefighting incidents that take more than a few hours. Often I may still be fixing things across days or weeks, neglecting other work or delaying my reading of random communications.

I know, not the best system, but I also find that with the low bar in many communication tools, many people will ask for things without thinking if they provide value. I've also found many people ask for something and forget about it, not really wanting it, but just suggesting work. I think if there is work people really need completed, they will ask me again in the future, often with some query about a timeline.

This isn't to say that I want to plan and schedule everything. I think ad hoc suggestions, requests, and ideas are good. I try to triage them and decide which items to schedule in my day, but if I don't deem things important, I may drop them. I also know there is the chance to pull information to myself from sources, such as Slack. Deciding to ignore some of this might be a mistake, but much isn't overly relevant in my day to day job and choosing to let it go dramatically reduces my stress. Perhaps that's something you will choose to do as well in your career.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):

 

Avoiding the Vector

I have an R data frame that looks like this:
> travel
  Passenger FlightDate Destination Miles Dollars
1     Steve   20180225         LHR 11789    1100
2     Steve   20180512         LHR 10989    1500
3     Steve   20180620         LHR 11789    1800
4     Steve   20180830         LHR 11789    1100
5     Steve   20181015         LHR  9678    2700
6     Steve   20181212         LHR 10520    1500
7     Steve   20180810         MSY  2427     440
8     Steve   20180225         OSL  1502     210
9     Steve   20180225         DCA  1475     310
I want to extract out the mileage for the first 6 rows to a separate data frame. I decide to run this:
> lhr.flights = travel[1:6,"Miles"]
However, this gives me a vector that is shown here:
> lhr.flights
[1] 11789 10989 11789 11789  9678 10520
I want these in a data frame. How should I alter the lhr.flights statement to get this?
> lhr.flights
  Miles
1 11789
2 10989
3 11789
4 11789
5  9678
6 10520

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.

 

 

  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

The Partial Computed Column

I want to add this column to my table. What happens when I run this?

ALTER TABLE dbo.Activities
ADD ProdOneCount AS CASE
                        WHEN ProductID = 1 THEN
                            CallCount
                    END;
GO

Answer: The column is created successfully

Explanation: This works fine. There is no requirement to have an ELSE clause. Ref: Ref: Alter Computed Column Definition - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/t-sql/statements/alter-table-computed-column-definition-transact-sql?view=sql-server-2017

Discuss this question and answer on the forums

 

 

 

Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.


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SQL Server 2017 - Development
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SQL Server 2016 - Administration
OLDEST_PAGE log reuse wait - In SQL Server 2016 SP2, we had a transaction log that had a truncation wait for OLDEST_PAGE indefinitely, until the disk filled up. We ran a CHECKPOINT manually and it was able to truncate. Some documentation stated this was due to indirect checkpoints, so we changed the Target Recovery Time from 60 to 0 and […]
SSIS Deployment w params - Hi I have a simple package that exports data via ftp using a dynamic path & filename. I created it on my server so I know it won't work on the test server Because of folder and the DB connection and table exported. How do I set project parameters when I deploy it please;is it […]
User Access - Hi, I have an Windows 2012 R2 Server hosting a 2016 SQL Server, I have admin access to the windows server. The SQL server only has the default sa admin user account. I want to use VBA to create a connection to the server to return some data to excel using the following connection statement; […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
Selecting data from two columns - The table has many columns, two of which are mutually exclusive, LocationNo and assetNo, so for any record only one of these columns contains a value, while the other is null. It's easy enough to do this: isnull(LocationNo, AsstNo) as LocOrAsset, but I would like to prepend to this 'A:' or 'L:' Any smart, sneaky […]
Exception handling for backup related errors. - Hi All, Need some help in exception handling. In below code, I want to know the reason why the backup is failing. For testing purpose, I have intentionally given wrong path of the backup file. i.e. Z: drive doesn't exist and when I run the backup command alone, it gives exact error message saying path […]
SQL query help - I have a table like this: Year month col_abc1 col_abc2 col_abc3 col_abc4 col_processing 2019 1 a1 a2 a3 a4 abc2 2019 2 a8 a6 a2 a9 abc2 2019 3 a5 a6 a3 a8 abc3 ...and so on I have a requirement that for a year and month, i need to check value of col_processing like […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
DB Log File Location Error - Hi, I am taking full backup of db on remote location. The issue we are facing is that my backups are generating fine at remote address but while generating Log file for those backups, Maintenance plan history shows error that It cannot locate part of address. How this is possible that my backups are generating […]
Error logs with Email Alerts - Is there a better way to Automate Monitoring SQL Server Error Logs with Email Alerts. This is what i found, unless anyone has a better solution than this? Thanks in Advance! https://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2307/automate-monitoring-sql-server-error-logs-with-email-alerts/
SQL Server 2008 Performance Tuning
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Help to optimize select query - Need help to rewrite the query for faster performance. use ABC_DB; SELECT c.otherID, a.shortname, c.priority, c.amended_date, cast(c.SomeVarcharMaxColumn as xml) FROM [ABC_Schema].[ABC1_Table] a WITH (NOLOCK), [ABC_Schema].[ABC2_Table] b WITH (NOLOCK), [PQR_Schema].[PQR1_table] c WITH (NOLOCK) where cc.ManagerId = c.Id and a.ManagerId = c.ManagerId and a.shortname = 'ABC' and c.amended_date >= cast('2018-10-01 00:00:00' as DATE) --(amended_date is the datetime […]
Integration Services
Refresh data warehouse with production data - Hello SSC, I want to create a package that refreshes the tables in my data warehouse with production (live) data. I have an SSIS package that simply TRUNCATES the tables and then reloads them (I did not write this package). I am not a fan of this method because we are reloading archived data for […]
Difference between task time and sys.dm_exec_query_stats time - Hello   I have a SQL task that ran through yesterday in around 23 minutes It executes an SP and performs a couple of updates If I look at the DMV stats, this task is is showing as taking around 20 hours! sys.dm_exec_query_stats time total_worker_time Also sys.dm_exec_procedure_stats There's only one execution for ths SP It's […]
Design Ideas and Questions
From cluster to single node - Hi all,   We currently have a 2 node dev cluster which I need to dismantle and either keep only node 1 or move to a new server. I am an SQL noob and this is a good project for me to dip my toes into the SQL reality. I looked around for some info […]
 

 

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