Managing time

Crucio666Crucio666 Member Posts: 91 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey Guys,

I'm trying to manage my time better so i can focus on my exams but i'm having a real hard time sorting out my priorities and i'm wondering if anyone else has faced this problem and what they did to overcome it.

I work 5 days a week, my hours are from 8am-6pm including afterhours/weekend support as needed. I have about a 80 minute commute to work each day. I wake up at 6am for work and i'm home at 8pm. I average about 55hours per week.

When i get home from work i'd like to devote a hour or two for studying/reading but by the time it hits 10pm my brain is so exhausted that i end up just going in my bed and falling asleep.

I'm a sys/network admin that primarily deals with all the issues in a 40 user environment. Throughout the day i'm 100% troubleshooting/maintaining/building all aspects of IT. 0% downtime other than a half hour for lunch.

Are there any other admins out there that are just way too exhausted when they get home to study or am i just lazy?

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I work full time (and a lot of after hours work), come home at 530 and cook dinner, spend some time with the kids, get them in bed by 830, spend some time with the wife and then finally I get my study time in around 930 - until I'm too tired to concentrate. It gets hard and some days I just can't get enough time to fit study in. Especially when I have work to do in the evenings. At least my work and study are in line with each other though, so its not that much of a waste of study time when I have to work :D

    One way I make up the time is to study at lunch now that I'm getting back into hard core study mode. I take my hour lunch to either read a chapter or watch some videos. That way when I get home in the evening I can review the chapter and do some labs. Its a lot easier to get the peace and quiet for reading at work then at home with the distraction of the TV and the kids.

    In the end it just comes down to what are you willing to sacrifice to study. Now the real temptation to not study will come with football season icon_twisted.gif
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • GAngelGAngel Member Posts: 708
    I have a similar schedule to you. I use my train commute (45 mins) for the bulk of my daily reading.

    I add another half hour to 1.5 hours a night 2-3 times in the week lab'ing etc. On weekends I may do 2-4 hours of whatever i feel like or nothing at all depending on if i plan to write an exam soon. I usually set out what certs i want for each year and then try to cram them all in early in the year and then only do 1 or two more for my own knowledge. When overload comes i shut it down and go out and enjoy life.
  • BokehBokeh Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Well ideas I have tried, and seen posted elsewhere are:

    Get up hour earlier each day and study then.
    Listen to audio training on your way to/from work via cd, mp3, Ipod, etc.
    Make yourself a set of flash cards and keep them by your desk. In between problems, flip through them.
    If study guide has a pdf version, load it on your computer, and flip through it during the day at work.

    I do admin/help desk work for 50 users, so I can relate to your issues. I've been trying the get up earlier method, and working to knock out a chapter on either security+ or cwna each day.
  • BreadfanBreadfan Member Posts: 282 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In the end it just comes down to what are you willing to sacrifice to study. Now the real temptation to not study will come with football season

    This is how I feel exactly...and since Networker is up there near "God's Country" hopefully he's pulling for the "right" team during football season HERE in SC icon_lol.gif

    I am just having hard time getting motivated PERIOD right now with Windows 7 and trying to learn all the new things it has to offer (of course some things may change at RTM) but I am hoping to convince people to move to it (both because I like it so much AND I can make some $$$ helping them "migrate" to it :D

    53 days till football season begins (or as we call it Hill Watch)
    Mark Twain

    “If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I just wanted to post a link that pertaining to general time management for IT folks.
    Amazon.com: Time Management for System Administrators: Thomas Limoncelli: Books

    I am a huge fan of this book...
  • SumptuousSumptuous Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Crucio666 wrote: »
    Hey Guys,

    I'm trying to manage my time better so i can focus on my exams but i'm having a real hard time sorting out my priorities and i'm wondering if anyone else has faced this problem and what they did to overcome it.

    I work 5 days a week, my hours are from 8am-6pm including afterhours/weekend support as needed. I have about a 80 minute commute to work each day. I wake up at 6am for work and i'm home at 8pm. I average about 55hours per week.

    When i get home from work i'd like to devote a hour or two for studying/reading but by the time it hits 10pm my brain is so exhausted that i end up just going in my bed and falling asleep.

    I'm a sys/network admin that primarily deals with all the issues in a 40 user environment. Throughout the day i'm 100% troubleshooting/maintaining/building all aspects of IT. 0% downtime other than a half hour for lunch.

    Are there any other admins out there that are just way too exhausted when they get home to study or am i just lazy?

    Just try to wake up a little bit earlier and give yourself 40 mins to an hour to do your studies .I know you might think that they are not enough,but once you get in the habit you will see that you can increase your study time to 2 or 3 hrs and to be frank with you there is always a problem for us guys who work,have a family,but are trying hard to improve their carrier.
    But a word of advice time management takes a lot of displine.
    2010 GOALS

    MCITP,EA,SACWNACCNP
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I just wanted to post a link that pertaining to general time management for IT folks.
    Amazon.com: Time Management for System Administrators: Thomas Limoncelli: Books

    I am a huge fan of this book...

    I was going to throw that out there too. I have a few other time management/organization books. You may find ways to work smarter and manage your time better, so you can not be run so ragged yet still get things done.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Crucio666 wrote: »
    Hey Guys,

    I'm trying to manage my time better so i can focus on my exams but i'm having a real hard time sorting out my priorities and i'm wondering if anyone else has faced this problem and what they did to overcome it.

    I work 5 days a week, my hours are from 8am-6pm including afterhours/weekend support as needed. I have about a 80 minute commute to work each day. I wake up at 6am for work and i'm home at 8pm. I average about 55hours per week.

    When i get home from work i'd like to devote a hour or two for studying/reading but by the time it hits 10pm my brain is so exhausted that i end up just going in my bed and falling asleep.

    I'm a sys/network admin that primarily deals with all the issues in a 40 user environment. Throughout the day i'm 100% troubleshooting/maintaining/building all aspects of IT. 0% downtime other than a half hour for lunch.

    Are there any other admins out there that are just way too exhausted when they get home to study or am i just lazy?

    You are not lazy. It's a common problem. For those of us with responsibilities at work and at home we have to stay frosty for both! This doesn't leave a lot of window for studies. Take my case. Im an independent, a contractor. Do you think my employer wants to pay my rates so I can do labs on works time? No way. But by the time I get home and my son is asleep it's 9PM and I'm already pretty tired. I could lab until 2am but where would that get me? No time with my wife and a lot of fatigue that would impact me at work where I have to be on top form. So you go for the long burn.

    Do what you can on commutes. Years ago I used to study labs on those. Also, get some buy in from your employer for some study time. Trust me, even one hour a day 9-5 during the best hours of the day when your body and mind is fresh adds up over a year and really helps augment the late nights and weekend work.

    Good luck!
  • neathneathneathneathneathneath Member Posts: 438
    Bokeh wrote: »
    Well ideas I have tried, and seen posted elsewhere are:

    Get up hour earlier each day and study then.
    .

    I did that for about 6 weeks prior to my second attempt at the 70-291 exam.

    I went to work an hour early every day and got no interruptions that way.

    It paid off but its hard work - can only do such things for short periods e.g. prior to exams
  • Crucio666Crucio666 Member Posts: 91 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just wanted to post a link that pertaining to general time management for IT folks.
    Amazon.com: Time Management for System Administrators: Thomas Limoncelli: Books

    I am a huge fan of this book...

    Thanks a lot for this link, i'm going to pick myself up a copy and give it a read.

    I like the idea about getting to work a hour earlier. I'm always less stressed when i get in before the users and get time to prepare for the morning issues. It's terrible when I walk into the door and everyone jumps on my back for support.

    I tried studying during my commute but I ended up falling asleep while reading and missed my stop a few times :). I also bought audio books from PrepLogic but the guy has such a monotone voice, I kept spacing out.

    I'm starting to organize myself better with Outlook, creating rules and alerts so my blackberry does not get hit with every email. This is working out very well so far. It lessened the distractions i get at home.

    I'm going to try to come into work earlier. Thanks for the advice, going to pick up that book right now!
  • LaminiLamini Member Posts: 242 ■■■□□□□□□□
    good stuff. imagine that, structuring your day with thought instead of unorganized mindless completion of tasks. just ordered Time Management for System Administrators book myself, good reviews, and one of the amazon reviews on it linked to relevant other SYSAD books, also interesting
    CompTIA: A+ / NET+ / SEC+
    Microsoft: MCSA 2003
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Given those hours +overtime, I hope they pay you well.

    Be aware of the possibility of burnout.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    I just wanted to post a link that pertaining to general time management for IT folks.
    Amazon.com: Time Management for System Administrators: Thomas Limoncelli: Books

    I am a huge fan of this book...

    Wholeheartedly endorse Limoncelli's book. It has some very common sense things, but with a practical bent on what goes on in an IT workers life. It's small, quick, and well written and should be required reading if you want to go into IT, IMHO

    I also heartily recommend one of the books he co-authored, The Practice of System and Network Administration, for a very practical view at how an organization should operate.

    As far as additional time management goes... go pickup a copy of Dr. Stephen Covey's classic The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (your local library probably has a copy) There is a very informative section on time management. The rest of the book is pretty good too.
  • Crucio666Crucio666 Member Posts: 91 ■■■□□□□□□□
    mikedisd2 wrote: »
    Given those hours +overtime, I hope they pay you well.

    Be aware of the possibility of burnout.

    I've been told a lot about getting burned out.

    How does someone know if they are on the urge of being burned out?

    Also, what happens when your burned out anyway?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Crucio666 wrote: »
    I've been told a lot about getting burned out.

    How does someone know if they are on the urge of being burned out?

    Also, what happens when your burned out anyway?

    Are you at the point where you're pouring whiskey on your Cheerios in the morning?
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I also heartily recommend one of the books he co-authored, The Practice of System and Network Administration, for a very practical view at how an organization should operate.

    That book was my bible as i was preparing to exit the support role into a more administrative role. I still keep it handy. LOVE IT

    I gave the time management book as a gift to my "Senior Agents" when I was a supervisor at the Geek Squad. As Net Admin at my company it stays in my bookshelf next to me for a review when I begin to get off rhythm. I agree it should be required reeding!
  • TravR1TravR1 Member Posts: 332
    I like that flashcard idea, that is what I do. I just stop periodically and flip through the flashcards for a few minutes on the material I read the night before. Even if I only read for 1 hour, I still read.. then the flashcards the next day will help to solidify what I learned. Use the weekends to spend more time studying. It might take you a little longer than some of the rest of us, but you are advancing nontheless.

    I juggle 40 to 45 hours a week of work, 16 hrs a week of school not including homework, and certifications. I can find the time, but my problem is prioritizing. If I study too much for certs my GPA slips.

    And burning out is bad, it's like mental suffering at work. You start thinking about quitting or you just wont care as much.. some might use up all their sick and vacation time.. and if your like me then drink a lot more too. If it happens you need to back off a bit and give yourself more time for yourself and work throught it.
    Austin Community College, certificate of completion: C++ Programming.
    Sophomore - Computer Science, Mathematics
  • Crucio666Crucio666 Member Posts: 91 ■■■□□□□□□□
    has anyone here gotten burnt out before?

    I think i'm on the brink of eating whiskey cheerios.......
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Yeah, I've been down burnout road before.

    When I finally got over it, it was five years later, and I had done nothing meaningful to advance my career over that period.

    I don't recommend it.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    I spent about 4 years burnt out and just doing what I had to in order to get by. Taking on more responsibility at work started to bring me out of it, but getting my CCNA in 2006 really got me back on track. Since then I have been more focused on my career and enjoying it more as well.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I'm absolutely burnt out at the moment. I'm actually just starting to sober up from breakfast ;)

    I just pushed all my deadlines back for everything, and I'm going to take a few weeks off. I'll probably still read 10-20 pages a day, so I don't completely get out of the loop, but I'm going to cut back and have some fun.
  • Crucio666Crucio666 Member Posts: 91 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yeah, I've been down burnout road before.

    When I finally got over it, it was five years later, and I had done nothing meaningful to advance my career over that period.

    I don't recommend it.

    Since i've gotten more responsiblity at my job I haven't focused on advancing my career. Been too busy dealing with issue after upgrade after maintenance patch after virus infection after server migration and blah blah.

    It's going to be 18 months since my last cert.......

    I actually just picked up the Time Management book and the first page sounds exactly like me!
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've been burnt out for about 6 months. It was rough but manageable before about 8 months ago when I was working full-time and going to school full-time and being a parent but I had a n OK job and knew the work I was putting was going to pay off so it was OK. Then I ended up having to take a significant paycut to save my job and as a result ended up taking on extra work to help make ends meet. This also put pressure on me to work harder to achieve some certifications to help better market myself. Since a couple months after the paycut I have an extremely hard time doing just about anything, I feel like a robot in a way - trapped inside my mind in an endless routine of crap. I've become overall much more angry towards others around me, including my wife. Little things really get to me and I let people know about how I feel in rude ways. It's hard to motivate myself to even do some of the essential and simple things like laundry and dishes. All of those things make you feel even worse when you know you aren't treating people right and know you're not accomplishing all that you can because I've in a way partly thrown in the towel.

    Being burnt out sucks, it really does, I'm trying to escape the feeling still and have been for months. I get little kicks of positive thinking here and there and things go well for a day or two but then it's back to the normal burnt out routine.

    If you feel like you're on the verge of becoming burnt out, do yourself a big favor and step back and collect yourself, take a break, relax, whatever. I find it incredibly difficult to get back on track after going down that road.
  • JBrownJBrown Member Posts: 308
    Crucio666 wrote: »
    Hey Guys,

    I'm trying to manage my time better so i can focus on my exams but i'm having a real hard time sorting out my priorities and i'm wondering if anyone else has faced this problem and what they did to overcome it.

    I work 5 days a week, my hours are from 8am-6pm including afterhours/weekend support as needed. I have about a 80 minute commute to work each day. I wake up at 6am for work and i'm home at 8pm. I average about 55hours per week.

    When i get home from work i'd like to devote a hour or two for studying/reading but by the time it hits 10pm my brain is so exhausted that i end up just going in my bed and falling asleep.

    I'm a sys/network admin that primarily deals with all the issues in a 40 user environment. Throughout the day i'm 100% troubleshooting/maintaining/building all aspects of IT. 0% downtime other than a half hour for lunch.

    Are there any other admins out there that are just way too exhausted when they get home to study or am i just lazy?

    Can you automate some of that work? Such as setting up an internal ticketing/ knowledge base website; Spiceworks - Free Network Monitoring Software for Network Management. You can automate some of the server side work too, such as monitoring if the server is up or not, or corporate website is up or down; Server monitoring tools | Monitoring network software.
    Spiceworks - Free Network Monitoring Software for Network Management will let know when your users install come crap on the PCs or there is not enough disk space due to their pr0n habbits ( trust me, a lot of people do download those stuff at work). WSUS will help you with patch management situation, I cut about 15% of work by just implementing it on the server side, that is for about 50+ servers. Just make sure that you do not auto aprove all the patches and updates. There are some driver patches you do NOT want to approve for sure.
    You will have plenty of time to improve yourself once you start automating simple stuff.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I've been burnt out for about 6 months. It was rough but manageable before about 8 months ago when I was working full-time and going to school full-time and being a parent but I had a n OK job and knew the work I was putting was going to pay off so it was OK. Then I ended up having to take a significant paycut to save my job and as a result ended up taking on extra work to help make ends meet. This also put pressure on me to work harder to achieve some certifications to help better market myself. Since a couple months after the paycut I have an extremely hard time doing just about anything, I feel like a robot in a way - trapped inside my mind in an endless routine of crap. I've become overall much more angry towards others around me, including my wife. Little things really get to me and I let people know about how I feel in rude ways. It's hard to motivate myself to even do some of the essential and simple things like laundry and dishes. All of those things make you feel even worse when you know you aren't treating people right and know you're not accomplishing all that you can because I've in a way partly thrown in the towel.

    Being burnt out sucks, it really does, I'm trying to escape the feeling still and have been for months. I get little kicks of positive thinking here and there and things go well for a day or two but then it's back to the normal burnt out routine.

    If you feel like you're on the verge of becoming burnt out, do yourself a big favor and step back and collect yourself, take a break, relax, whatever. I find it incredibly difficult to get back on track after going down that road.

    Sorry to hear about this. It is a common problem though. Sometimes an amnesty is in your best longer term interests. Take a break on the certs for a couple of months and just try and spend that time becoming happier. Spend time with the family. You can come back to the books in the fall.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Turgon wrote: »
    Sorry to hear about this. It is a common problem though. Sometimes an amnesty is in your best longer term interests. Take a break on the certs for a couple of months and just try and spend that time becoming happier. Spend time with the family. You can come back to the books in the fall.

    It's incredibly common, so many friends and colleagues are experiencing it as well. I've benefit from just sharing with my family, friends, and co-workers how I feel and in the co-worker situation I've tried to share advice (we are all burnt out in our dept.) on how to cope. In the work environment I've been trying to discourage the bickering and outbursts of frustration before or after a phone call - the negativity doesn't do anything except get me more upset weather I'm the one with the brief outburst or if I'm just overhearing someone else s outburst.

    Other than trying to keep the work environment better I hope a break helps bring me out of the rut. I checked my paystub the other day and I have just over 90 vacation hours and almost 60 personal hours so I think an extended leave is due. I'll probably take a week off, not to really go one place for the week (my wife doesn't have much vacation time and would feel left out) but to just set some small and attainable goals for projects I've wanted to finish around the house and get out and do some fishing for a couple of the days. Maybe finish up the wiring mess that I made out of my car computer project too. I think I'll start right after the 70-640 which I hope to sit in a few weeks. After that I think I'll break from the IT certifications for a month or two and study and sit for the technician class amateur radio exam, sounds very interesting and something I've wanted to get into for a while.
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