“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”
February was not my best month so far, my total study hours for this month are under 100h; 96 hours exactly.
During the 2nd week of February I faced total mental breakdown, where I didn’t want to do anything. Literally. I studied 4h for the whole week.
Then I slowly recovered over the last two weeks of February, it the end it was not so bad. I’ll comment later in the post some thoughts about this study crisis that lasted for a week.
- Anki: Started to put a few hours a week, to review and build new cards so it would help me to memorize the information. Sometimes I think I put too much information in each card for the answer.
- Youtube: Rob Riker and Keith Barker are two channels that I focused on this month to cover certain topics more in depth. Rob Riker is really good, very enjoyable to learn from him.
- Excel, OneNote and Notion.io : Excel for tracking hours and books, OneNote and Notion to build the notes for my CCIE database. 3 tools I cannot live without for my study time.
Theory and labs
- BGP: Finished the book “Routing TCP/IP VOL 2”, well explained topics. Also, it deals with NAT and multicast. Overall 7/10 utility for CCIE blueprint I’ll say. It took around 20h to finish, taking notes at the same time.
- SDWAN: By being member of RouterGods I had the chance to attend to Khawar Butt SDWAN webinar that had theory and practice, for a total of 8h of webinar. 10/10 really happy with the trainer and the content.
- Design webinar: Assisted to Zig Zigzsga design webinar: Check it here. Talking about design principles, very interesting for a few hours.
- Multicast: Started to go deep on Multicast, part using some Youtube content plus finishing the “CCIE RS vol2” book that deals with Multicast also. Book took me about 15h to finish, mixed feelings I’ll say also 7/10 for CCIE studies.
- OSPF: reviewed a little about OSPF and built my own OSPF lab from scratch having all the area types, with redistribution, summarization and filtering. Then I cloned it and I totally broke it, that will be used for tshoot later.
Dealing with study burn
February was a weird month, suddenly for the second week I didn’t wake up early, and I had no interest to study anything. Zero. True that I watched a few chapters of the fabulous Netflix series “Dark”, but just 2 chapters a day do not explain the reasons of my apathy. Nothing major happened in my life so I think it was a little burn after so many study hours.
In the end what started the study engine working again was watching some network video and doing some labs, I decided that a week was enough rest. So the last two weeks went ok, but I was procrastinating more than usual.
Being disciplined and staying in the path
Distractions were taking over my study time, normally I study 2h before start working and during work maybe 1-2 hours depending how busy would be the day. But I noticed that I finished my working day with just 1h or 2h in my stopwatch of focused study. Two seconds in twitter, 5 min in Discord, check some blog stuff or answer some Whatsapp. That is a total concentration killer.
Probably that behavior was a reminder of the non-study week apathy, my body and mind resisting to come back into the path.
Kudos to my girlfriend who point all this wasteful behavior, thanks to her wake up and wrote a series of rules and kept to them.
Some of the rules I set are:
- Put the phone in silence and in the nightstand, far away from my claws.
- Allowed myself to check messages during breaks, but not allowed to reply. One message leads to another!
- Do not check any social, Twitter, LinkedIn until I pushed at least 5h of study.
- Focus on my study above everything, until I don’t get 5h of study I’m not available for any person.
And the most important part of the plan, set my computer background with the list of rules, nothing else. There is no escape that way, there is no “Oops I forgot!”
That works, some people will think I’m too crazy, but if it works, it works. My daily study time after day averaged 6h a day for the whole week, insane improvement.
I Will keep this method for as long as possible, I feel my Twitter activity went down almost to zero. But that’s ok.
February was a tough challenge, but I survived and I stayed in the path. Let’s do this!
Did you have any study burn experience?
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