+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Gielinor
    Posts
    444

    Certifications
    CompTIA A+ Net+ | Sec+ | MCTS: Win 7 MCP | MTA NF | MTA OSF
    #1

    Default Motivation to study

    It seems to be common among many here at times, but I'm finding the motivation to study very difficult at the moment.

    I'm currently aiming for my MCSA: Windows 10 cert to boost my knowledge and value as an employee for my company. I've used Windows 10, I've taken the 70-680 for Windows 7 and have seen a lot of content crossover between the two, so I'm feeling fairly confident for the 70-698. However, I just can't focus at the moment.

    I don't think it has anything to do with the exam itself? I want to do it. I feel like it might be more related to life changes. I got my first house back towards the end of 2016 and started a new job around the same time. Since then, I haven't done a single exam (tried for the 70-686 but gave up). This new job has a lot more responsibilities so I don't have time at work to squeeze in some study like I could before. I've also got more responsibilities now at home as I'm taking care of housework and just feel so tired in the evenings that I can't be bothered to study.

    I feel quite lucky that I was able to get the certs I have done before these changes as it gave me a boost over my fellow colleagues, but now I need to get the momentum going again to keep my skills up to date for the sake of my job.

    Has anyone had this issue before, mainly due to big life changes, and found a way to study again? It would be interesting to hear other peoples techniques. Thanks.
    2018 Goals: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697) MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (70-740, 70-741, 70-742), RHCSA

    "There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't." - Anon
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  2. SS -->
  3. Member djrabes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    65

    Certifications
    A+, MCP, MCSA: Windows Server 2012/2016, Windows 10, BTEC Level 2 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
    #2
    I think you just need to take your time and study when you can, even if its for a few hours a week. What you need is to plan your week and fit chucks of studying in then. Set a realistic target for 70-698, pass that (It's easy, you'll have zero issues) and then set a target for 70-697. You have your MCTS in Windows 7, so I doubt taking longer to do your Windows 10 is really going to put your job at risk, Windows is Windows at the end of the day. If you require Windows 10 for your job, talk to your boss and say you want an hour or two a week on a Friday afternoon, when its quiet to study and further develop your skills and understanding of Windows 10, and its benefits to the company.

    I'm having issues studying now as well, especially after Christmas. I did my 70-412, MCSA: WS2016 upgrade and MCSA: W10 in the space of 7 months and I needed the break, but I can't get back in the swing of things for my MCSE (70-414) I'm kinda getting fed up of exams, but for my career to progress I need to do it.

    Do you listen to music? - I always find that having some music playing gets me motivated to read a paragraph of a book or do a little bit in my home lab. When I revise I like to be in my own world, blocked out from the outside world and just focusing on the job in hand. Of course, I don't have the responsibilities of you, having your own house and having to do everything for yourself - But you need to have your own free time to relax otherwise you'll get burnt out and fed up with everything in general.
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, MCP, MCSA: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10
    Studying: Exam 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
    Want: MCSA: Office 365, MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Exam 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure), Network+, Security+
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  4. Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    40

    Certifications
    CCNP R&S | CCNA Security/Wireless | Security+
    #3
    There's always the Pomodoro timer method with the addition of small easy to reach goals during times like you describe. Then you build from there when you find the desire throughout the year. Instead of having a goal to "Pass X Exam" switch your mindset to goals that can be accomplished within a week. Eventually those weeks add up.

    Something like, "Read "x" book for 20 minutes per day 5 times this week with a timer set and headphones on to drown out the outside world" This one example using just 20 minutes a day at a slow reading speed should make it possible to make it through most technical books within 2-3 months or sooner.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  5. Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    103

    Certifications
    A+
    #4
    I have your same problem, it's from a lack of wanting to do it but after a 9 hour day of dealing with people's problems the last thing I want to do is crack open a book. I changed occupations in 2016 and moved across the country, since then I've found it difficult to find the energy to study.

    I think one of the things I (we) should remember is that our current circumstances won't change if we don't do anything about it. While I have advanced at my company it's not a place I want to be long term. The only way to change that is to learn more.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  6. California Kid JoJoCal19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    2,419

    Certifications
    CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MSISA, BSBA
    #5
    Some good advice here already. I agree with HappyBear and I was going to post something similar. It helps to set small goals. When you get "quick wins" it builds momentum. Also, breaking a larger cert down into smaller chunks makes it seem less daunting. So take the syllabus for whatever exam you want to pursue, and copy it line by line into Excel to create a check list. I use indents to format it. So first column is each task, knowledge area, or line item, then you can put the next column to be a target study time if you want, or leave it blank if you dont want to track study time. Then you can put study type such as read, lab, flashcard, quiz, etc. Or you can have a check column for each one. There's really no limit to what you can do with it. I would look up Iristheangel's post in her CCIE Security thread where she did something similar.

    Another piece of advice with respect to being busy, is find any amount of time you can. If you don't have much commute and don't start early, then wake up early and knock out an hour of study. Study on your lunch break. Study right when you get home for 30-60 minutes, that way you can relax the rest of the night. Get a sub to safaribooks or get ebooks for what you're studying and if you get 20-30 minutes here and there at work, read.

    Your situation is somewhat different than mine. I burnt out after blasting through CISM/CISA/CRISC in 42 days last Summer, and I've not done a cert since. I also got really busy with kids being back in school, activities, and house reno we are doing. I'm just now getting back to studying for certs (AWS) and will be doing the Excel tracking sheet. Also, thankfully A Cloud Guru's videos are broken down into small 5-15 minute chunks so it's easy to get them in here and there.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: MS Cybersecurity, AWS Certified Security - Specialty, Learning Linux & Python
    Next Up:​ AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
    Reading:​ A Cloud Guru, Code Academy
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  7. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    543

    Certifications
    LFCS, GCIH, eJPT, CCNA, CAPM, Trifecta
    #6
    I make a spreadsheet so I don't have to do any thinking on low motivation days. Also morning studying is a good thing. When the goal's already spelled out, just open the spreadsheet and put one foot in front of the other. Good to get a day or two ahead as a buffer zone as well.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ | OSCP | CISA
    2019: CCNA Cyber Ops | CISSP
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  8. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    541

    Certifications
    CCNA: R&S, Security+, Network+, FCNSA, MTA 98-365
    #7
    Boy, I empathize with the OP here. I tried to knock out the MCSA 2012 last year and studied for the first exam for almost 6 months before I took it and failed. I couldn't focus on the topics at hand. I'm going to agree with everyone here and say 1. Study what you enjoy (I know that's not always possible) and 2. Manage your time and clearly define your study goals. I give myself multiple sources of study material and break up topics into a timeline. If the videos go over setting up VPNs, then the next day I read a chapter in my book about the same thing. While it doesn't always motivate me to study, it at least gives me clear goals on what to do that day.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  9. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    24
    #8
    I feel your pain mate especially when trying to learn new content or things you've never had to work with or come across it can get draining.

    What I did to overcome this is was to try and find some sort of routine and stick to it. It can get difficult at the start but once you get through the persistence, you'll be able to start making it a habit.

    I've got about an hour commute to and from work so I use that time to read, watch CBT nuggets whilst making notes and when I get home, do about 30-60 minutes of labs. Started of slow, then the next thing I knew it, those 30-60 minutes started becoming 1.5 - 2 hours and so on. It also helps if you're able to access your home lab externally so I was able to work on it during lunch breaks as well.

    I always tried to make use of any spare time I had. Even at the gym after knocking an hour of weights, I'd hop on the cardio machines with my iPad and continue to study lol.

    Tbh though, I do feel a bit burnt out like JoJoCal19. I ended up getting my MCSA 2012, CCA-V and CCP-V in a space of 8-10 months last year but that was just me blasting through ever spare time I had. I haven't touched any study material since November last year but I know I'll slowly start getting back into routine once I start my AWS training next week and CCNA training in a couple of months time.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  10. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    732

    Certifications
    CCNA R&S, Security+, Network+, Linux+, Linux Essentials
    #9
    Buy a voucher and put your money on the line. I also like to imagine getting a better paying job after getting the cert. I know a cert doesn’t guarantee a better paying job, but it still helps to keep me studying.
    Last edited by thomas_; 01-18-2018 at 02:30 AM.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  11. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    24
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_ View Post
    Buy a voucher and put your money on the line. I also like to imagine getting a better paying job after getting the cert. I know a certain doesn’t guarantee a better paying job, but it still helps to keep me studying.

    I forgot to say this as well lol. An extra push in motivation is booking the exam a few months out so that I know that 'hey I have to study. I paid x amount for this exam".
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  12. Burn Baby Burn! Cisco Inferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    1,025

    Certifications
    CCNA:R/S, MCSA:2012, MS Specialist: Server Virtualization, MCDST, A+, N+, S+, A.A:CIS
    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by yoba222 View Post
    I make a spreadsheet so I don't have to do any thinking on low motivation days. Also morning studying is a good thing. When the goal's already spelled out, just open the spreadsheet and put one foot in front of the other. Good to get a day or two ahead as a buffer zone as well.

    I do this as well in Google Sheets. That way I cannot avoid it!
    2018 Goals
    [ ] Recertify Cisco CCNA
    [ ]Recertify CompTIA Security+
    [ ] (ISC)˛ SSCP [ ] LPI Linux Essentials [ ] Bachelor's Degree
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  13. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Stamford, CT
    Posts
    137

    Certifications
    A+, Network+ (N10-003), 70-620(MCTS Windows Vista)
    #12
    I'm glad i'm not the only one with the lacking motivation.. I'm not getting a raise by passing (going for 70-410) i'm doing it just for me to keep up with technology and to keep learning, but man I can't retain any info.. I'm overthinking things.. I'm better at watching videos then sitting reading 1200 pages and trying to remember what I read on page 1 lol.. Any studying tips are much appreciated.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  14. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Gielinor
    Posts
    444

    Certifications
    CompTIA A+ Net+ | Sec+ | MCTS: Win 7 MCP | MTA NF | MTA OSF
    #13
    Thanks for all the support guys. I'm planning to buy the voucher at the end of the month and have found in the past that it give you that extra push because you've spend money on the exam, so failing to study or pass will result in you losing out on the amount you spent.

    I've also taken your advice by planning out each day how I'm going to study. I didn't make a spreadsheet but I downloaded the CBT Nuggets revision guide which helps you plan your studying for each week with labs and practice exams right up until exam day. Hopefully this should guide me in the right direction. I've found in the past that if you struggle to decide what subject to study or not sure what you're suppose to be doing it can distract you and you will lose motivation a lot quicker, so having some sort of daily plan is key here.

    Also, the Windows 10 cert isn't really a huge requirement for my workplace. Our team have been told that a rollout will happen before the summer, but some people will get some training on the job if needed (no certs included). I wouldn't lose my job if I didn't have it, but I know that I will be more prepared than any in my team if I did have it. It's a nice feeling to know I have the upper hand over my colleagues and can provide more support during the rollout if needed.

    I've got a deadline for my Windows 10 cert as I'm going on a long break over the summer. Knowing I've (hopefully) passed these exams by then will put me in a better mood before jumping back into the exam routing and start my Server certs.
    2018 Goals: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697) MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (70-740, 70-741, 70-742), RHCSA

    "There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't." - Anon
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  15. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    201

    Certifications
    A+, Net+, ITIL v3, MCSA:2008/2012, MCITP:EDST/EDA
    #14
    Just force it.

    I know that isn't particularly helpful advice, but you'll thank yourself in the end.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  16. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    107

    Certifications
    LPIC-1, Linux+, SUSE CLA, MCP, VCA6-DCV
    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyliinez92 View Post
    I'm planning to buy the voucher at the end of the month and have found in the past that it give you that extra push because you've spend money on the exam, so failing to study or pass will result in you losing out on the amount you spent.
    Buy it here:
    https://us.mindhub.com/microsoft-exa...ft-Exam-Replay
    or choose your location:
    https://www.mindhub.com/v/location_selector/
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  17. Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    896

    Certifications
    CCNP: R&S, CCDA, CCNA: Security, CCNA: R&S, MTA: Networking Fundamentals, Security+, Network+, Linux+, A+, Project+
    #16
    I haven't studied in like 9 months lol. I need to do this CSA+ to renew my Comptia stuff soon though, then do the CCDP next year.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  18. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    185

    Certifications
    GCIH, C|EH, MCSA Windows 10
    #17
    What keeps me motivated is my current situation and the life I wanna live. I don't like my current situation and I honestly believe that hard work and education will help me better my current situation. I know that I don't wanna live the life I currently do forever. I believe that if I grind super hard for a couple or a few years or so that it'll set me up for significantly better life. I'm okay with the delayed gratification.

    Also, purpose. I feel like motivation is easy to come and go at times but if I feel like I have a real purpose, that stays regardless and I remind myself of that and it pushes me to keep going.

    One more thing, responsibility. Taking everything or at least most things that come my way and saying it's my fault. Whenever I don't get something I want, I say it's my fault. Putting all of the responsibility on myself and never leaving room to point the finger or blame someone else makes me work hard.

    I hope this helps at least a little bit. It definitely helps me.
    Last edited by fabostrong; 01-18-2018 at 04:04 PM.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  19. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Gielinor
    Posts
    444

    Certifications
    CompTIA A+ Net+ | Sec+ | MCTS: Win 7 MCP | MTA NF | MTA OSF
    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by fabostrong View Post
    What keeps me motivated is my current situation and the life I wanna live. I don't like my current situation and I honestly believe that hard work and education will help me better my current situation. I know that I don't wanna live the life I currently do forever. I believe that if I grind super hard for a couple or a few years or so that it'll set me up for significantly better life. I'm okay with the delayed gratification.

    Also, purpose. I feel like motivation is easy to come and go at times but if I feel like I have a real purpose, that stays regardless and I remind myself of that and it pushes me to keep going.

    One more thing, responsibility. Taking everything or at least most things that come my way and saying it's my fault. Whenever I don't get something I want, I say it's my fault. Putting all of the responsibility on myself and never leaving room to point the finger or blame someone else makes me work hard.

    I hope this helps at least a little bit. It definitely helps me.
    Thanks fabostrong. I agree that the main thing over everything is to better yourself and improve your life, it just seems like such a long term goal but I guess you need to put in the effort to get where you want to be in life. I hope your current situation gets better, you sound like you've got your life planned out .
    2018 Goals: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697) MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (70-740, 70-741, 70-742), RHCSA

    "There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't." - Anon
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  20. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    154

    Certifications
    CCENT, Network+, MCP, MCTS: Windows 7
    #19
    A week before my CCENT I binge watched an entire 12 hour video course and I really did pushed myself that last week!

    However, months before the exam sometimes I studied well and other times I didn't. I rescheduled the exam a few times.

    I'm very tempted to ask my boss to go part time because work does get in the way.

    But what I believe what helps is having good, engaging study resources and Jeremy at CBT nuggets does a really good job.

    I also read a cisco study book whiles I relax when watching youtube and listening to music.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  21. Senior Member daviddws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    299

    Certifications
    ITILv3 MCSA:2012 MCSA:WIN7 MCITP MCTS MTA:SA MCP CTS VCA-WM LPIC-1 SCLA CSAP CSSS CLNP CIOS CSIS CNIP A+ NET+ SEC+ LINUX+ SERVER+ CySA+
    #20
    I've found that if you place a deadline on taking the certification and study accordingly, as well as channeling any anger (at least for me) into getting it done.. magic happens.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  22. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    CR
    Posts
    341

    Certifications
    A+, LPI1, CCNA, Sec +
    #21
    The habit of learning how to get things done.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  23. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    60

    Certifications
    MCTS 70-680, ITIL V3 Foundation
    #22
    I think sometimes you just need to just force yourself and do it. I bought the book for CCENT/CCNA a year ago and kept picking it up and putting it down. By time I picked it up I needed to restart it from the beginning as I forgot what I'd read previously.

    At the start of the year I just decided I was going to do it this time and have been actively reading almost everyday, the times where I think I can't be bothered and would rather watch TV etc I just get the book and the laptop out and make myself do it. If I'm tired and can't face the books I'll watch the some videos instead so I'm actively keeping the info going in. Now I'm at the point where I automatically just start doing it and enjoy it rather than think it's a chore. Getting through each chapter knowing that's another topic done and ticked off keeps me going.

    Maybe give yourself small goals of watching an hours worth of videos a night or getting through a chapter of a book every night or 2-3 nights depending on the size. Before you know it you are getting through large amounts of material.
    Goals for 2018: Not over committing this year so CCENT and then CCNA and see how it goes from there.
    Reply With Quote Quote  

  24. Burn Baby Burn! Cisco Inferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    1,025

    Certifications
    CCNA:R/S, MCSA:2012, MS Specialist: Server Virtualization, MCDST, A+, N+, S+, A.A:CIS
    #23
    I want to mention, that you will be motivated ONLY if you like the subject.

    My MCSA was a killer. I lacked alot of motivation. The Hyper-V elective was more interesting to me because of networking concepts.

    Cisco and Sec subjects are more interesting, so those take very little time compared to advanced server topics.

    Would you rather pursue a professional certification afterwards?

    Also. one thing to motivate you is Salary. Yes, i know alot of people deny this, but think about this seriously.
    Do you know alot of other fields where you can make $100k/year with a high school diploma?
    2018 Goals
    [ ] Recertify Cisco CCNA
    [ ]Recertify CompTIA Security+
    [ ] (ISC)˛ SSCP [ ] LPI Linux Essentials [ ] Bachelor's Degree
    Reply With Quote Quote  

+ Reply to Thread

Social Networking & Bookmarks