COVID-19, Working From Home and Performance Tuning

I am sure you have enough information about Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease) already by this time after reading various newspapers, watching TV, and engaging in the social media, so I will not bother you more talking about it. However, I would like to quickly share, how I am managing with Covid-19, Working from Home (WFH) and managing my Performance Tuning consulting service.

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Working from Home and Covid-19

Most of the time, I work from home so actually, there nothing much changes for me on this aspect. However, I have a 10 years old kid home due to summer vacation and the biggest challenge is to keep busy. Here are few things I have changed to make sure that our entire home stay clean.

  • Increased frequency of the cleaning home to daily
  • Gave 15 days long paid leave to domestic help (maid, cook, and car driver)
  • Cleaned and detailed the car myself
  • Sanitized keyboard and mouse along with essential computer periphery
  • Set a reminder to wash hands every hour with antiseptic soap
  • Canceled all the travels till May 31st (Domestic and International both)

As 99% of my consulting engagements are online, I do not have to adjust to a home. However, if you are just beginning to work from home, I have following three suggestions so your work from home does not convert to work for home.

Suggestion 1: Get Dressed and Make Coffee Yourself

Trust me, this works better than you think. We all have a mental block in our minds. Often we are not able to work from home as we feel lazy in pajamas. When I started to work from home 10 years ago, I made a practice that I will get dressed like I am going to the office and will make my own coffee. While my wife thought it was very funny but she was surprised to see that it worked very well for me. Once I made my very first coffee, I was able to focus on my work and do a good amount of work.

Suggestion 2: Plan Hourly Distraction

Trust me. If you can focus on your work for 1 hour, I think you are on the top of the leaderboard. It is very difficult to focus on the work or doing the same thing monotonously for a long period of time. I often plan an hourly distraction for me. Once I return from my activities of distraction, I figured out that I am able to focus more on my work. Here are few distractions I personally use, you can build your own list.

  • Going to check mails
  • Working on my on-going Jigsaw puzzle
  • Watch 10 minutes of Pluralsight courses
  • Plan a mathematics quiz for my daughter
  • Load dishwasher
  • Make Coffee

Trust me, it is good to get distracted at frequent intervals so we can focus on the rest of the time to work.

Suggestion 3: Start Your Day Early

I often start my day as early as 5 AM. It does help big time as by the time at 8 AM my daughter wakes up, I am done with my most important work. I spend my day with my family and get back to work around 4 PM my local time when the EU and the USA business come back online. While this may not be possible for many I find it has built a great work-life balance for my family.

Monitor SQL Server Performance

Another critical thing is to invest money in the right tools. I have a very expensive setup at my home in terms of infrastructure. I have three 4K monitors and 2 laptops powering lots of types of equipment at my home. While I use one monitor for all the daily activities, I use another monitoring to watch all my client’s system’s health.

I use Spotlight Cloud to monitoring my client’s SQL Server. Spotlight Cloud is the best free on-premise SQL Server performance monitoring tool out there. I really love the spotlight cloud because of the following reasons:

  • 24×7 Operational Monitoring
  • More than 200 SQL Server alarm types
  • Multi-dimensional workload analysis
  • Drill down to identify the root cause of alarms
  • Blocking analysis
  • Smart Alarms with background & suggestions
  • Up to 12 months of historical data

If you are going to work from home due to COVID-19 and your primary responsibility is to monitor your SQL Server’s health and performance, I strongly suggest that you try out Spotlight Cloud.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

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