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Posted bythe network was framed3 months ago

Really struggling with carelessness, losing hope that I can work systematically. Does any one else have this issue, how do you work with it ?

apologies as this is not a tech post

I've always been careless, like really careless. I can walk into fires and solve the biggest issues that leaves others awestruck. Yet, tell me to deploy something that has been done 100 times, and I mess it up.

Missing a step, or just being careless in general. I wish I could go back and change things. Growing up every teacher would tell my parents the kid is very intelligent, but also very careless.

I know this is not technical, and today's carelessness did not even cause an outage. But I'm really low today. Why do I keep making these careless mistakes? How tough can it be to follow simple instructions.

My usually solution is to automate things that I find boring, but that's not something I get to do in my current role. No excuses though, I'm still struggling to come to terms with my latest blunder. I'm just disappointed in myself. Why can everyone else just follow patterns, do things step by step, and yet, I keep messing up regular tasks. Maybe I should look for roles that are less hands-on. I do love technology, which is what makes me sadder, as I hold high standards for myself and keep letting my self down.

Tl;dr are any of you careless? If yes, how do you cope up with it ?

EDIT: was not expecting such a response. Thank you all, for the tips, advise and most of all just being here. Sometimes when you feel low, its nice to know there's good people out there who're willing to lend a ear for venting out, and provide insightful points to follow up on. And, then some people say networking folks are rude, and impolite and have no heart. Thank you! :)

87% Upvoted
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level 1
119 points · 3 months ago

Slow down, create task lists and/or checklists.

Document workflows in detail and follow this documentation step by step as you perform the tasks. If you've left something out by mistake in your documentation, add it as soon as you become aware of that omission.

The added benefit to good documentation is that it's easy for others to step in and produce an equivalent result when needed.

level 2
fng33 points · 3 months ago

Seconded. Not even network specific. Checklists are key to managing complicated repetitive tasks. At the recommendation of a thread on here I read The Checklist Manifesto, and Time Management for Systems Administrators. Both have made me more productive and reliable.

level 2

This. Pilots have checklists - even the best.

level 2

OP this is the answer and can be summarized with one word, process. When the intent is to eliminate human error and automation cannot be done, then process is needed.

Just make sure to follow the process every time even for the "little things that won't affect anything" otherwise the process is useless.

level 2
Network Engineer6 points · 3 months ago

Exactly this. Your post really hits home with me, supervisors have always thought I'm lazy because of this. Still trying different ways to get organized, but Trello has been a godsend. Document what I did, figure out what I need to do this week, wait how did I deploy that ASR920?

level 3

Is that what people use Trello for?

Oh, wow, that explains

level 2

I do some fairly complicated installs on industrial sites and we fully document with checklists in advance, they're marked up, signed and kept as records which has proven useful when things break at a later date.

The install check lists are peer reviewed with the designs. List has a task and then a check, e.g. If it's a dual homed switch then run traffic over the uplink and pull a cable to test the failover.

Some people think it's overkill, however I've seen sites taken out due to lack of proper planning and then losing days having to investigate what they'd actually done. It takes more time up front but saves a lot of time on the day. It also means if something unexpected comes up then you can give it 100% attention.

level 2
BCP-38, all the cool kids do it.3 points · 3 months ago

I wouldn't go so far to say I was careless, but I did make mistakes fairly regularly on simple mundane tasks enough that it started to bug me. At which point I joined the checklist crowd. Two things you have to keep in mind with checklists. 1) To be effective, you must use the checklist. Its easy to just say "oh this is a simple task I'll just do it...." NO, USE THE LIST. 2) You can't have a list for everything. This is fine. You'd spend all day making checklists.

Something else that helps me a lot is to get into the habit of not hitting enter immediately when entering a command in config mode. Type out the command and stop. Look at it. Check for errors. Think "is this command going to give me the desired output?". Then hit enter if yes.

Also, cannidate configs (Juniper) are nice.

level 3
fng3 points · 3 months ago

This is where The Checklist Manifesto really helped me. I had already started using checklists for some things, but I had a habit of trying to put everything into them. It's important to make a distinction between a checklist and documentation. When I made my checklists too much like documentation, they became too detailed and too hard to use. Once I learned to strip them down to the essentials it became easier to use them very time because they weren't burdensome.

level 4


level 2
the network was framedOriginal Poster3 points · 3 months ago

Slow down, create task lists and/or checklists.

Thank you sir, I have just made my first task list for the day :) will try and make this a habit going forward.

level 2

Plus, documentation is the first step to automation!

level 2
CCNAx3, CCNP, CCIE, CISSP2 points · 3 months ago

I fight with this same issues as a consultent I have learned to make workflow diagrams and explain them to customers. This is more mentally for me to organize my thoughts on the project at hand but it helps customers feel exponentially more secure about the project execution. Then I store every workflow for review and reuse or modification if needed later.

level 2

This is my preferred methology. I'm more planner/completer than agile & fail-fast.

I often get mocked by people for taking too long to plan, but I'm honestly not sure which is better.

I'm more used to doing infrastructure projects than software projects, I guess. You won't get a second go at procuring infrastructure, so you have to get it right the first time.

I've been educated in the PRINCE2 project metholodgy, which is all about careful planning prior to execution. I think there is a place for more agile project management, but it always freaks me out :)

So I think you have to balance between the two. Often people are more drawn to just getting on and doing it when they should step back and plan, and I've often seen teams crippled by indecision when they should just take a leap and figure it out from there.

level 1
29 points · 3 months ago

Have you tried getting tested for ADD?

Otherwise there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned checklist/runbook with one person doing the work and the other only focused on the checklist.

level 2
CCNP | ISP Operations9 points · 3 months ago

I've got a buddy in the industry that has ADHD and refuses to take meds. He is always forgetting steps or dropping the ball when it comes to stuff like this. I'm afraid he's going to lose his job one of these days because he screwed something up again. No attention to detail is always biting him in the ass.

level 3

I have ADHD and have never taken meds for it. The way I overcome the problems with my ADHD is process as I mentioned in another comment.

I create check lists, work flows, and take detailed notes on everything I do that way when my mind floats away when I am in the middle of something I can pick up exaxtly where i left off without missing a beat.

level 4
CCNP | ISP Operations2 points · 3 months ago

That's really awesome that you're able to do that. But not everybody can and there is nothing wrong with taking medication to help with things like this.

level 5

Not everyone can take medication. Adderall makes me twitchy, ramps up my anxiety and turns me into a narcissistic asshole even at low doses.

My productivity would significantly increase if I was taking it, but at the same time I can't take no for an answer when taking it, so I don't.

level 2
the network was framedOriginal Poster11 points · 3 months ago

I haven't tested for ADD. But you do raise a good point, as I've been dealing with this issue since I was a kid. Very careless :-(

level 3

Intelligence + ADD is like a car with 500 horsepower engine and a crap transmission. It doesn’t matter how powerful your engine is if you can’t get that power down to where the rubber meets the road. The meds are what stops the transmission from slipping.

level 4
CCNA-turned-Linux-Admin3 points · 3 months ago

Nice analogy. Gonna go label the bottle of Adderall “LSD”.

level 5

Make sure not to mix it up with the LSD though, that would make Monday morning significantly more tricky.

level 6

but at least tbe standup would be interesting.

level 5

Is that for Limited Slip Differential?

level 6
CCNA-turned-Linux-Admin2 points · 3 months ago


level 4

It's more of a 500 hp engine in a drag car. Amazing at the one thing it does. But don't try to turn it around corners. When medicated ADHD becomes a gift because it let's you upgrade to a nascar!

level 3
CCNP | ISP Operations8 points · 3 months ago

Go get tested for ADHD man. Could be the solution to your problem. There's nothing wrong with it dude. No shame. Especially if you can get some help and really turn things around.

level 4
the network was framedOriginal Poster6 points · 3 months ago

Thanks. I'll look up how to get tested :-)

level 5
CCNP R&S / CCNA Security16 points · 3 months ago

Understand something, if you do have ADD or ADHD, this isn't you being careless. It's a result of, literally, being unable to put anything "on the back burner" because there is no back burner for us. When you have something that requires detailed steps to do, you need to remove the distractions so you can focus on doing it right. For me, that means tossing headphones on and listening to music while I work. I can't get distracted by conversations the next cube over, by someone coming over to me to ask a question (because I've trained everyone that if I have headphones on, there's a reason for it), or what have you. That might not work for you - the music itself could be a distraction - but that's neither here nor there. You're not being careless, you're unable to focus.

Get tested, but careless is when you're capable of performing things exactly the same way as others, but choose not to do it. If you're ADD, that isn't a choice.

Also, meds aren't a magic bullet, but they CAN and WILL help. So will occupational therapy and several other things.

level 6
Make your own flair15 points · 3 months ago

Being diagnosed with adhd in my mid teens I completely concur.

Our brains are just wired differently. Nothing wrong with that. You just have to know/figure out how to control it :)

There are a few things that help me a lot:

1:: Carry around a notebook everywhere I go. Top left/right corner on each page is the current date. I write things down that I need to do, sketch some diagrams, etc...

I also use it for brain dumps. For example when I have to switch from one task to another and when I still have a lot of ideas in my head. Like when I'm writing an automation script and have to leave it for a few hours/days to do another task I will write down what's in my head. This makes me very zen because I know I can forget about everything and pick it up again when I need it.

You can also use onenote/alternatives if you'd like. For me they don't work as well because I tend to forget them and I like it better to be able to quickly jot something down

2:: Calendar, Get a digital calendar. Maintain it rigorously. Just like in point 1, when I put something in the calendar I can let that thing go and know that I wont be able to forget it. Clears my head ;)

3:: Writing documentation. When you first figure something out immediately take the opportunity to write documentation for it. Use windows steps recorder for sysadmin tasks or a putty log or w/e as your basis and work it out in a useable manual for your collegues. This also allows you to create a checklist based of that documentation. Then when you have to do that task again you just follow the checklist. And since you wrote the documentation your head will have this irking feeling when you've forgotten anything.

4:: Noise cancelling headphones and well trained collegues like mentioned above.


So what helps me personally is to just get as much out of my head to try and keep it as clear as possible and to do it in such a way that it's not easy to forget something. #stayzen. Also condition yourself to write things down and learn to make braindumps that make sense to you. I can literally take my little booklet and scroll to a certain date and see what was in my head at that moment.

level 7

I know I can forget about everything and pick it up again when I need it.

Just like in point 1, when I put something in the calendar I can let that thing go and know that I wont be able to forget it.

Writing shit down so that you can allow yourself to forget it is really powerful. Allows you to chill out and take it easy.

level 8
CCNP R&S / CCNA Security5 points · 3 months ago

See, for me I think I partially compensated, and partially don't have that issue. I'm Inattentive Type, so rather than be all over the place, the entire world fades out if I'm interested in the task, whereas I can't focus on it if I'm not. But I remember pretty much everything, and writing it down is more a reminder of it than detail on it.

All that means is that calendar appointments tend to be more than enough for me, and writing notes down isn't quite so necessary. Like I said, different strokes.

level 7
CCNP R&S / CCNA Security4 points · 3 months ago

And getting back to OP's original concern, once you write your documentation, have someone FOLLOW it, preferably someone with less knowledge than you, then review what they did. If you've missed something in the instructions, you will very likely notice it missing from the final product, because you already "know" how it's supposed to be. That makes it really easy to find the holes in your documentation and fix them.

level 8
Make your own flair1 point · 3 months ago

A 100 times this.

level 7
CCNP, AWS networking2 points · 3 months ago

Man how many network engineers have ADD? Is that just a thing? It seems like half the people in this thread have ADD.

level 7
2 points · 3 months ago

I also use it for brain dumps. For example when I have to switch from one task to another and when I still have a lot of ideas in my head.

Being unable to shift tracks when I am deep into a task/thought train is one of the biggest causes of anxiety in my life, and it is one hundred percent because I know that I will be unable to get back to the same place in my thoughts when I come back to the task. I had never thought to do something like this. Thank you.

level 6

back burner

He’s right, I can’t remember I need to do something later 5 minutes after being told. Like “hey, can you give bob a call at 2pm tomorrow?” “Sure” ... 5 pm the next day “sonova birch I forgot to call bob” It’s like a chef instead of putting a pot on the back burner, he simply puts it under the sink at his neighbors house.

level 7
Journeyman Intertube Plumber (my views are my own)1 point · 3 months ago

This is actually really accurate.. I once threw supper in the over to surprise the girlfriend, then went to get her from work.
She asked if we could do some quick shopping so I said okay. Two hours later we get home....and she was definitely surprised.
(The food only needed 30 minutes)

I think we ordered pizza when the smoke cleared.

level 3
2 points · 3 months ago

I came here to suggest the same. There are two basic subtypes of ADHD (e.g. I have ADHD-PI) and they are very manageable with the right medication. It can however take a while until you've found something that works for you.

I suggest doing an online test for ADHD and if it comes up positive, schedule a real test with your health professional. If he's dismissive, do ask for a second or third opinion.

level 3

The first thing I thought when I saw your post was that this looks exactly like so many posts over in r/adhd

That said, don't miss the advice being given here about process and checklists. Coping with adhd includes using a lot of tools like this...with or without meds. One last thing I feel compelled to mention...if you do end up with an adhd diagnosis be aware there is a will probably be best off not to mention it in a work setting. Good luck.

level 2

The other really helpful trick with a checklist/runbook is to say what you're doing outloud. I used to have the same problem as OP, so if I was doing something critical I started saying 'I am about to push the X button. Ok, I've pushed the X button. Next I'm clicking the Y button'.

level 1
12 points · 3 months ago


I was diagnosed in my 30s and everything makes so much more sense now. Your post sounds extremely familiar.

level 2
the network was framedOriginal Poster3 points · 3 months ago

Thanks, looking in to that sub now.

level 3

Even if you don't have ADD/ADHD, you're likely to get diagnosed and the drugs are very good for productivity and attention to detail...

Of course one of my favorite things is to continue to run circles around other people while they are on the mental performance enhancers and I am not. It's like beating a roid bro at squatting.

level 1
10 points · 3 months ago

I see this sometimes with highly talented people whose brains buzz a little too fast. Slowing down, being forced to slow down, can really help. For example, buddy up with someone on your next maintenence window and you tell them what to do, step by step. There used to be (still is?) a practice called pair programming in software development and one of its benefits was handling situations like this.

level 1

I love you OP, self-admitting to your own weaknesses is what makes us stronger. No one is perfect, and when we have a platter filled with shit to do, we all make mistakes. What I do before doing anything that requires setup, is write down all the steps, and then print them. I do it mostly because I have ADD and I get flooded with other BS, so I make it my goal to follow the steps written.

level 1

I used to setup accounts for new users. I feel your pain. It was just a boring task I hated, but miss one permission and they can’t access certain folders or reports all hell breaks loose.

I missed a lot of permissions lol...

level 2

ditto. I setup new users on the copiers & when I mispell their name on one copier they act like its the end of the world (we have 2 brands of copiers with incompatible address lists)

level 1

I slow down and script everything but making a mistake and causing an outage keeps me awake at night. Procrastinating on projects is killing me.

level 2

This is a legitimate fear and one that is important to work through. You will make mistakes. It's what you do next that counts. Own up to it and don't walk away until it's fixed. Try not to make the same mistake twice. Let that be your reputation.

If management comes down on people like a ton of bricks, then it will only be a matter of time until it's your turn. Understand that. I will never work for another company that treats people like that for making a mistake.

level 1

The way I usually explain how to fix this with my guys is to redirect all that aggressive persistence they use to solve problems into the boring stuff.

So basically, you are tasked with configuring a new switch or adding routes and redirecting traffic or whatever. Get the initial design in your head, and write it down. Then start looking for how it will break, pretend it's broken in your head, and start going over the ways it could fail, starting at the initial basic stuff and going maybe 4 or 5 layers more advanced.

That, in combination with the obvious stuff people have mentioned (checklists, documenting, and MULTIPLE review sessions before implementation).

I also try and get my guys to understand that coming up with a solution is only actually 10% of the work. The other 90% is double checking, testing, documenting, and then TRIPLE checking. You can almost never test enough, I usually keep looking and looking for problems, debugging my own implementation plan until people are yelling that they need it.

This obviously depends on how critical the project is, different projects require a different amount of rigor.

The lack of carelessness is a hallmark of a senior engineer and I think this is one of the key lessons most mid's need to learn before they really can consider themselves senior (aside from personal attitude).

level 1
CCNP R&S + Security3 points · 3 months ago

Since you can't automate things, why don't you just write some python scripts to check that everything is done. That way, you can perform the work and run your python script to check for everything.

It seems to me you like writing scripts to automate, but you should also be checking the work with the scripts.

So just because you can't automate it with the scripts, doesn't mean you can't write scripts to check that everything was done!

level 1

Like others mentioned, write a play book / game plan.

Writing out a step by step plan of implementing something is valuable for multiple reasons. It causes you to think things through, and understand what you’re doing. Specific steps or items not thought of otherwise can surface. As a side benefit, you have some rudimentary documentation at the end of it.

level 1
Expired CC*P2 points · 3 months ago

Are you a big picture guy or do you easily see the breakdown of individual tasks to achieve a larger goal? As a rough example, would you build a lego set by looking at the picture on the box or by following the step-by-step instructions to the letter?

I ask because my wife is one of those people that is naturally "careless". It's not a big deal but it's something she'd prefer to avoid and it only ever happens when she's not mindful of it. What happens is that she has an overall job in mind holistically but the individual steps are more fluid. So she occasionally starts the next step before the previous step has been completely finished. There's no malice or ego in this, she just sees her various tasks as a bit of an amorphous blob and tries to finish them as fast as possible - inevitably those individual elements tend to blend together and some of the finer detail is lost.

If there is a secret to changing this as her "natural" mindset, we haven't found it. It requires an almost physical effort to fight the urge to blend. Writing the tasks down in order does help, but you must have a check-in and check-out for each step. Do not continue to the next step until you have checked-out of the last one. It's a ballache but we each have limitations that we must overcome, this is true of everyone in every field.

level 2

similar to what you've explained, i've read that people are generally divided into those two categories. Basically, big picture thinkers, and detail oriented, those are loose definitions. But the big picture people are better at grasping scopes and seeing the overall project as you said. The detailed people see the picture on the box and follow the instructions to get there as you put it.

the breakdown is roughly 30% big picture, and 70% detail oriented.

It could be that the OP is one of those 30%, I know I am. I suck at detailed work. it takes me for ever, but I can put together plans that involve concepts and incorporating many pieces into a puzzle.

level 1

Git push everything

level 1
2 points · 3 months ago

Feel your pain. Pretty much had to check I didn’t write this drunk when I read it.

Currently have to work on a customer environment that has way too much paperwork to work ratios and requires heavy amounts of detail in the simplest of tasks. Takes me hours when it should take minutes to get through the task and it often pops out incorrect.

level 1

Echoing other comments here. I was diagnosed with ADD about 10 years ago, so your post sounds just like what was going on in my head leading up to that point. Get evaluated for ADD/ADHD, but...changing your behavior is also just as important. Checklists were (and still are, to a degree) essential for me.

level 2
2 points · 3 months ago

Hah! I was gonna come in here and comment this exact thing. You sound like me, and I got officially diagnosed with ADHD a few years back. Just knowing it changed everything. I live by lists now and have just stacks and stacks of notebooks. The only way I have found to deal with all of this is to have my "current" self defeat my "future" self by making procedures and scripts and things that force my own hand to do things correctly. :D

level 1

I had a thing this morning similar. It wasn't huge but I ended up messing up an access list pretty badly on a lot of devices.

I wouldn't say careless is the word, but ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I'm extremely air headed. For normal life I combat it by having a reminder app that has anything and everything important in it. For work sadly I can't keep my cellphone nearby so it's lots of pocket notebooks. I got diagnosed with a very mild narcolepsy which I would say is slightly to cause at times. Sometimes I think back, like today, and have no idea what my thought process was.

I have the privilege of having some leeway for mistakes at work in a lot of the cases. I sometimes wonder how I would do in the commercial world. though I imagine a lot of it is getting in that mindset.

Thanks for getting real with us OP

level 1

Step one is solved - identifying there IS a problem. Good for you - you now have a chance to make things better!

Checklists, doubled up. Reading between the lines, I'm picking up an "eager to do" things line. Which leads to going fast. Which leads to things missed. it's not unreasonable to talk to a behavioral therapist if you can - get a better idea of what may be going on.

Best of luck!

level 1

Yep - that describes me as well. You are not alone... I tend to get bored very easily, so try and direct my attention into automating the hell out of everything I work on, just so I can avoid doing repetitive tasks and it helps to avoid mistakes by using check lists for those things you cannot automate.

One thing with manual changes, don't rush, use a check-list and test every change. I've been bitten many times by rushing and missing out on the testing. Just don't assume... (you know the saying - it makes an A** out of U and ME).

level 1

I'm the same way. Documentation is the way to go especially as I get older. I have a memory and troubleshooting skills that are almost savant and I was able to ride it to a good position. It only gets you so far though and you need to eventually lean on documentation and task list.

level 2

Documentation helps you plan things properly. You start to mull everything about a project in your mind as you start to create diagrams and MoPs. You begin to see dependencies that weren't obvious before until you were trying to figure out how one piece was going to work. This is how you get better.

level 1

Are you past or future me?

Anyways for routine or easy things... start writing up SOPs for those, so that it’s something you can quickly refer to double check your steps.

It’s ok man. You and will fail more than most, but luckily, we fail forward.

level 1

While other posters here have suggested 'slow down', that can be exceptionally difficult. I learned a long time ago that tedious tasks are ripe for automation. The task you have done 100 times and miss steps on is boring and you lose focus. Script it, automate it, remove the human error factor. More interesting and more effective.

level 1

Security Engineer with the same problem here o/

First of all, it sucks. I know that. Can't even remember how many times I've messed up even the most simple task imaginable.

But, don't take it too hard on yourself. We are humans after all. We make mistakes every damn day. I know we might get yelled at (which to me, is always kinda amusing) or worse but fearing that won't make the mistakes go away. Neither does the constant self doubt or losing your hope.

What I do is kinda the same so many already suggested: make detailed how- to documentation for yourself and review them often. Also, I have to constantly tell myself to STOP AND READ what I just typed in or focus extra hard on the prompt i was given. Too many times I've just clicked or typed away without even thinking. Then oops.. Or if enough manpower is present, ask someone to check what you are doing.

Usually there's nothing that good documentation and backups won't fix :) Unless you physically destroy something.. oops.

level 1
CCNA-turned-Linux-Admin1 point · 3 months ago

Lots of good advice in this thread. I’ll add:

Make your ongoing mantra “Details Matter.”

Keep the big picture in mind, but focus, focus, focus on the details.

Details. Matter.

level 1

I've always had trouble with memorization. So I sometimes struggle with repeated tasks if there are more than a few steps. My solution is checklists and guides. This has the added benefit of providing a way for others to take care of a task in a pinch if I'm unavailable.

For keeping on task, I use to do lists. Every morning I write out what I know what I want to try and get done for the day. And if I know that I need something for another day, I make a calendar reminder for first thing that day called "To Do" and put the item(s) in there.

level 1

It's super easy to get down after making a mistake. You'll go through 2-3 days of feeling bummed out, and then you'll get over it and it's like it never happened.

People make mistakes, it's that simple.

You say you can't automate stuff in your current role--why not?

level 2
the network was framedOriginal Poster1 point · 3 months ago

You say you can't automate stuff in your current role--why not?

rigid company polices of the way they want changes to be done. No lab where the said changes can be proven to work. So yeah, we will just keep doing the well documented process that works. Now i just need to focus and find ways to not skip things or be careless in general.

level 3

Make a template in word then and highlight stuff you have to change in some bright color. Works for me

level 1

I believe that you need to find a situation that works for your skill set.

There’s situations where you excel, find those, define them, find a role doing them.

Rather than focusing on your weakness, look to your strengths. If you broaden you strengths and work in them your weaknesses will diminish.

I.e specialisation

level 1

Have you tried opening Word or something, and creating a step by step plan for what you need to do, before you need to do it? Helps me sometimes.

level 1
A magician trying to become a wizard1 point · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

tell me to deploy something that has been done 100 times, and I mess it up.

My usually solution is to automate things that I didn't boring, but that's not something I get to do in my current role.

I know a lot of people are providing info on maybe handling some personal items, but the first part quoted here is a top tier reason for automation to be in place. The biggest thing it solves is the human "oops" factor. You say at your current role you don't really get to do it, but hey- maybe you can use this as a push to possibly get started with some?

level 1
1 point · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

You need to make creating a process and documenting and automating it a priority. Any time you are bringing something new online, a repeatable process needs to be a part of it. The new thing should be merged into the old, and everything should be architected such that new things can be easily merged into the configuration and the process. This only happens if you make consistency, scalability, and repeatability a priority. This will actually SAVE you a hell of a lot of time. Spend a little time up front to do things right to save yourself several factors that time going forward.

As a Linux guy, my tools for this (I have not dived into Ansible yet) are:

  • dokuwiki (even if you can't automate something, you can certainly document it with a really good tool!)

  • git

  • kickstart

  • rpmbuild

  • yum

  • gnu parallel paired with keyed ssh and the above 2

New local accounts, or old ones to be deleted? Put the logic in the package, publish it to the repo, then:

cat list_of_systems | parallel -q sshcmd 'yum clean all && yum update my-accounts-package'

Creating good ways to accomplish the above is a fun technical project in itself.

level 1

what is said here about the lists is very good advice. you may not see other physically making these lists, but they are made regardless.

when a complicated task goes right, no matter how mundane it was not just a happy accident. the person completing it has done it a billion times, or it was planned out in advance.

I am one of those people that you will rarely see with a physical plan, I think my boss sometimes wonders about me and the status of tasks because I have so little to show, until its done.

I run through tasks tirelessly in my head, navigating the expected and some unexpected pitfalls before anything hits paper. basically all that's left, is execution.

but everyone works and thinks differently, and I internalize too much, I need to make more notes at the end of the day etc. so I can leave more at work and not keep turning it in my head all night because I don't dare forget it.

if you have problems with details biting you. first, make sure it wasn't a land mine "something you didn't know about that shouldn't be there or configured like that" if it was a land mine, clear it so it doesn't happen again to the next person and move on.

if its a series of tasks, write it down, rehearse it in your head, what could go wrong, how will I tend to that if it happens, am I missing anything.

planning really is huge, projects being completed without a hitch is not a happy accident, it is the result of planning. when something unexpected arises, easily overcoming that obstacle is the result of knowledge.

if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, and it will happen to you(me). some like to think that is the motto of the unlucky, the careless. it is really just saying. "if you didn't plan for this to happen, it will happen, and it will happen to you because you didn't plan for it.

I am thinking always about the next step, because I already thought about this step during the last step, and for the last week. you just need to find the system that works for you.

level 1
CCNP- Cisco Certified Network Prick1 point · 3 months ago

Oh lord yes man. The only way to manage this is to build self checks. Got a frequent project you have to do? Take some time and build a spreadsheet to verify things. Doing a basic config on the fly, snag a coworker and just talk your way through the config as a double check. Use your own fear of being careless into a paranoia that you assume you've screwed things up. Admitting you are careless to yourself is a good first step to that paranoia.

And yeah, I'm in the same boat you are in. I'm easily distracted, and will miss stupid obvious things right in front of me. When I go to connect something I build in tests assuming I've screwed something up. I stop myself before I throw something into production and walk through the areas the things I'm doing can screw up. Ultimately you are gonna make mistakes, everyone does. To me the best way to minimize the damage of those mistakes is assume you are a fuck up, put on your padded helmet and make sure that the damage you can do is minimal.

level 1

I have that issue at times. The way that I deal with it is to create detailed steps for my changes. I go over my steps, I have someone else check my steps if I can. I revisit them a few times looking for any issues.

At the time of the change I don't think about what I am actually doing, I just follow the steps one at a time. There have been times where I started thinking about the process, second guessed myself, and made a mistake.

This also means that there is very detailed documentation of when I do anything, which is great.

level 1

Sounds like ADHD tbh. Maybe go see a psychiatrist. They may be able to help you out

level 1

Get tested for ADHD. Dopamine deficiency could cause these symptoms.

level 1

Checklists. Take breaks.

level 1

I see this constantly in technical people that are very good at being technical, but are held back from being a good engineer.

Other people have given good advice, but ultimately you have to have to want to change your behavior.

Checklists and things like that help when you're setting up or fixing a complicated solution, but they aren't going to help you when you think you know better than what the established process is. I see people do it all the time just doing basic troubleshooting on a network. They'll go through to the server, check the API if it's working, check the routing, check encryption, check a SSL cert, etc... when all it needed was a new network cable on a switch uplink.

Everyone struggles with this to some extent. You have to establish boundaries for yourself, and you have to stick to them. It's like dieting... it's mind over matter. Breaking the cycle, as they say. And you should go get tested for ADHD from a real professional who specializes in those illnesses, not a GP doctor.

level 2
Journeyman Intertube Plumber (my views are my own)1 point · 2 months ago

Depending on your local health care setup, you may have to talk to your GP to get referred to a specialist. These days I think most GPs see ADHD frequently enough to help. This can also help because they decide to assess you for ADHD and start treating you while the referral is going through. A full assessment for other learning disabilities and co-morbidities (or Bonus Problems) could take months for a referral to go through or require paying cash to jump the queue.

level 1

I have a terribly bad memory for details. What helps me is to make a wiki page that has the instructions of how I set something up. That way I can refer back to it when I need to do it again.

level 1
I sell Network & Network Accessories1 point · 3 months ago

Dude, I got bounced from a great job at a top, and I mean top company because I spaced testing after a change. I bounced back but I alway wonder ho things would have turned out had I just followed a Decent MOP ( I do now, without fail).

level 1

I'm not careless per se, but my memory is complete trash. My brain will decide seemingly at will what I'll remember; and Odin-dammit if it doesn't frustratingly disagree with what I want to remember!

Lists are your friends, TESTING before deployment is your biggest friend! Knowing and working around your limitations is something you learn and practice.

Don't beat yourself up over it; life is hard. We're going to make mistakes; so we plan and work to minimize those mistakes! That's what lists, backups, and sanity checks with co-workers are for!

You are human, just like the rest of us; and we love you! Unless you're a Google AI screwing with us then congrats on passing another Turing test.

level 1
-2 points · 3 months ago

Be present.

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