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Time Management for System Administrators by Thomas A. Limoncelli

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Chapter 7. The Cycle System: Life Goals

At 60, I want to retire and have the financial means to live comfortably.

In the next three years, I want to get promoted to team leader of my group.

In the next month, I want to learn more about Linux kernel internals.

In the next 24 hours, I want to have all my laundry washed and folded.

Someday, I want to date a porn star.

You can achieve anything you want if you set your mind to it. Most people don't follow a logical process of setting goals, figuring out the steps to reach those goals, and then taking those steps. Instead, they expect that things will "just happen."

After becoming extremely efficient in my time management, I realized that I had just spent a year being really good at what I was already doing. However, I was still basically in the same place as I was a year before. I hadn't moved to my dream home, the IT environment I managed hadn't really changed, and I was no closer to dating a porn star. I was spinning my wheels.

The truth is that you will achieve more if you set goals. Studies have found that successful people set goals and work toward them. Recent studies have also found that most unsuccessful people think that if they don't do anything, opportunities will still present themselves. In other words, unsuccessful people hope to be lucky. Hard work beats luck. Friends have told me that chess is a game of luck: the more they practice, the luckier they get. Success is the same way.

However, I'm intrigued by evidence that setting ...

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