How do you not get burnt out, when you work with it all day?

millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
I've been studying for the CCIE for a little while now. And the biggest problem I have is burnout. Not so much from overstudying. But more or less working in operations I am staring at configs all day long.

I personally manage about 800 corporate/partner routers, switches and a grip of ASA's and am the sole engineer responsible for this branch of equipment. My everyday duties cover everything included in IE (with the exception of Multicast), but at the end of the day I can't fathom staring at more configs.

I have this whole week off and was going to study and lab, but it's like I have ADD, I'de rather catch up on sleep.

So how do you working professionals manage to study for IE without getting burnt out?
Currently Reading:
CCIE: Network Security Principals and Practices
CCIE: Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide

Comments

  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    millworx wrote: »
    I have this whole week off and was going to study and lab, but it's like I have ADD, I'de rather catch up on sleep.

    So how do you working professionals manage to study for IE without getting burnt out?

    Can you say Starbucks? icon_smile.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
    ITdude wrote: »
    Can you say Starbucks? icon_smile.gif

    Burnt out on Starbucks too. My gf is a manager there, so I get all the free Starbucks I can possibly want daily. Starbucks subsidizes my food budget everymonth with a plethora of "day old" breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and other delectibles.
    Currently Reading:
    CCIE: Network Security Principals and Practices
    CCIE: Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    Ha, ha...Nothing like day old baked goods. icon_smile.gif Love their coffee but getting as expensive as a gallon of gas......
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • DPGDPG Posts: 780Member
    Take a day or two off and do something non-CCIE related that you enjoy.

  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    I go to the mirror and ask myself, " How bad do you want it? "

    I look at the salary of the CCIE's, I look at my bank account, I look at the people that drive porsches & I look at my girl.

    I find inspiration by beating myself up by saying I have nothing or telling myself, I can do it.

    To tell you the truth, I havent stop studying since I feel that I will lose 1 day to success.
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    I go to the mirror and ask myself, " How bad do you want it? "

    I like that one. icon_wink.gif:)
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    Its funny because I was so lazy when I was young. I hate studying! Now my gf hates me from studying so much and not paying attention to her.

    I forgot to tell you I was laid off for 7 months. I think that made my fire bigger inside than anybody else that I know.
  • sides14sides14 Posts: 113Member
    If you want to break the boredom and you have access to Starbucks, my recommendation is the Morning Glory muffin - it tastes great. Unfortunately your 15 minutes away from view configs will be spent in the restroom.
  • ehndeehnde Posts: 1,103Member
    millworx wrote: »
    but at the end of the day I can't fathom staring at more configs.

    Can you study before you go to work? Then at the end of the day there is no need to do any studying (unless you feel motivated).

    Before I became an Army bandsman (euphonium and trombone if it matters) I would practice 12 or more hours a day, every day. Even after the audition I had this feeling of maybe not being good enough and continued practicing constantly. After I made it past basic training into the school of music, I knew I'd made it. I finally peaked (in skill) about a year after graduating from the school of music. I'd arrived. I knew I was an expert and had no reason to try harder.

    After a few more years I became so bored with my former dream job that I had no interest in reenlisting again. The problem was me, not the job. You can get burned out doing anything.

    One more idea. Why not take the written exam over your break? Of course you won't pass, but you can see what it's like and get an idea about what you need to study more on. Most importantly the experience could be a psychological catalyst and reinstill your motivation to study.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    millworx wrote: »
    I've been studying for the CCIE for a little while now. And the biggest problem I have is burnout. Not so much from overstudying. But more or less working in operations I am staring at configs all day long.

    I personally manage about 800 corporate/partner routers, switches and a grip of ASA's and am the sole engineer responsible for this branch of equipment. My everyday duties cover everything included in IE (with the exception of Multicast), but at the end of the day I can't fathom staring at more configs.

    I have this whole week off and was going to study and lab, but it's like I have ADD, I'de rather catch up on sleep.

    So how do you working professionals manage to study for IE without getting burnt out?

    It's a common problem when your work is intense. I put a lot into my job myself and when evenings and weekends come around it's sometimes hard to get up for any studying. I say pace yourself. For something like the CCIE most people are looking at a project that can take years if their day is full on at work. I think in your case you dont have kids and should have plenty of free time outside of work hours for studying which is a good thing, but you still need time out to recharge. If the week has been a long one try some theory reading for a change. If less busy then do the labwork on your own time. Try and get what studying you can done on works time even if its only an hour on most days. That's what Im doing now as Im often nuked when work is done. When you get burned out your body is telling you something important, so be sure to get some rest. Some people work through those difficult times but the CCIE isn't accomplished by a few weeks of cramming.

    Look for a sustainable study routine where you make gradual process but without impact to the rest of your life. If you are still studying in one years time and your professional and personal life is going strong you must be doing something right. Too many CCIE candidates cram only to burn up and fade away.
  • reaper81reaper81 Posts: 631Member
    Turgon pretty much summed up most of what I would have to say to you. I have done over 400 hours of studying for the CCIE now so I know pretty well what I'm up against. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Keep going at a regular pace instead of trying to cram. Every hour counts. Ask yourself, what does the CCIE mean to me? If it doesn't mean a lot to you then walk away, it is not worth it if you don't really WANT it. As someone else said, can you study before work? Do you have a commute? Find those moments where you can put some time in.

    Every now and then I allow myself to not study and just play some Xbox360 or whatever, you need those moments too but don't get lazy. Failure is not an option, at least not for me.

    This is what a regular day looks like for me:

    06.00 Wake up
    06.45 Commute, study for almost a hour
    07.55 Arrive at work
    16.00 Go home from work
    16.15 Commute, study for almost a hour
    17.10 Home, spend time with son and fiancee
    19.30-ish Hit the racks
    23.30 - Lab slot finished

    I don't do this every day but for 3 or 4 days a week. Does it take its toll? Yes, absolutely but in the end it will be worth it. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think a couple of minutes about the CCIE. I know that if I succeed it will provide security for my family and good times ahead so I'm not looking back.

    Go for it man!
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    reaper81 wrote: »
    Turgon pretty much summed up most of what I would have to say to you. I have done over 400 hours of studying for the CCIE now so I know pretty well what I'm up against. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Keep going at a regular pace instead of trying to cram. Every hour counts. Ask yourself, what does the CCIE mean to me? If it doesn't mean a lot to you then walk away, it is not worth it if you don't really WANT it. As someone else said, can you study before work? Do you have a commute? Find those moments where you can put some time in.

    Every now and then I allow myself to not study and just play some Xbox360 or whatever, you need those moments too but don't get lazy. Failure is not an option, at least not for me.

    This is what a regular day looks like for me:

    06.00 Wake up
    06.45 Commute, study for almost a hour
    07.55 Arrive at work
    16.00 Go home from work
    16.15 Commute, study for almost a hour
    17.10 Home, spend time with son and fiancee
    19.30-ish Hit the racks
    23.30 - Lab slot finished

    I don't do this every day but for 3 or 4 days a week. Does it take its toll? Yes, absolutely but in the end it will be worth it. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think a couple of minutes about the CCIE. I know that if I succeed it will provide security for my family and good times ahead so I'm not looking back.

    Go for it man!

    Yeah thats a good routine right there. At the moment my choke point is the evening study slots as Im not done on the family front until 9pm and Im often too tired to study at that point, plus its the only quality time for my wife and I when the kids are in bed. But I am now starting to squeak an hour or two in on works time. This morning Im going over the INE Vol 2 labs to make my own topic specific notes. It all helps if you are regular with those 'small hours'. What you must avoid is study hiatus which can often happen if you push too hard for too long without breaks. With three days on and four off you can accomplish a lot over time.
  • Ryan82Ryan82 Posts: 428Member
    I don't usually get burnt out but when I do I just take some days off and after some time I will be hungry to get back to it. Play some video games, watch some movies, or take care of that house project you have been putting off for way too long.
  • RaptienRaptien Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you're job is that hands on, you may benefit from taking a week off from CCIE prep from time to time. Obviously not often, because you'll hinder your progress too much but sometimes it's nice to just have a break, do anything other than networking and what I find sometimes is if I haven't done any prep for a little while, I'm eager to get stuck into a lab or into some theory.

    Do whatever works for you, we're all different with different lives so you need to adjust and do what prevents you from getting burned out.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    I have a schedule broken out onto a excel spread sheet, where I study for 2 hours on mon, wed, thur, and 4-6 hours on saturday, the other days are off spending time with my wife and doing other things besides Cisco. It has taken hella long to get anywhere, but now when I start studying at 5, done by 7-730 I still have a decent part of the evening to take her out to dinner or a movie on study days and I get time for my sanity.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • aldousaldous Posts: 105Member
    i was ordered to have pizza beer and video games by the missus on sunday night as i had spent all 3 days of the long weekend studying/labbing :)
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    Slow and steady, wins the race.
  • millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think that's what I need to do. Take breaks from time to time. Maybe take a weekend off here and there without studying. I took the past few days off from IT all together since I'm off all week. Kinda a bad week though, just dumped the girlfriend (cheater). But I guess that will give me more time to study! LoL.
    Currently Reading:
    CCIE: Network Security Principals and Practices
    CCIE: Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    millworx wrote: »
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think that's what I need to do. Take breaks from time to time. Maybe take a weekend off here and there without studying. I took the past few days off from IT all together since I'm off all week. Kinda a bad week though, just dumped the girlfriend (cheater). But I guess that will give me more time to study! LoL.

    The CCIE is a long game if you are busy at work and longer if you are busy at home. Being single does open up a gap. Use it well!
  • millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
    Well to end the monotany and liven things up a little. I have a pretty solid graps of the routing concepts and switching concepts in CCIE. So might as well knock out CCNP ROUTE while I'm at it. Scheduled it for tommorow, surprised there are spots open. I figured if I take get the intermediate exams out of the way while studying for IE it will help keep me motivated. I'll let yall know how I do!
    Currently Reading:
    CCIE: Network Security Principals and Practices
    CCIE: Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
  • physicskidphysicskid Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    In terms of burn-out, I had a different thought to answer the question about managing.

    Currently, I don't have any plans to study any certifications because I am letting my current role at work play out. There is a lot of things that demand attention, but just not enough people to attend to them. As I am typing this, I am at the tail end of my one week time-off period.

    Anyways, my thoughts: through all of our experiences, knowledge, expertise, etc., what keeps me in-line is what I personally contribute. I moved to another city August 2010. I got my first job in the new city as a analyst taking calls and providing level one Help Desk support. The clients I regularly spoke with from my birth city and on rare occasions, I have spoke with people that I used to know growing up. That made me realize one important lesson my mother used to say: "Greet everybody person with a smile and treat them with earnest respect." Even before I ever touched on "How to Make Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie or even "One Minute Supervisor" by Kenneth Blanchard, my mother already knew what the secret was. Pretty soon, even the most angry of users that called didn't phase me because I treated everyone of my callers like VIPs. Sensing their satisfaction after speaking with me reminds me of the greater good: the focal of doing our jobs is to help people, whether it's people that call to complain to the Help Desk to even the very management that oversee the Help Desk. And that's where I stand now as Tools and Technology of the Service Desk.

    In summary, I have taken the time to learn, study and keep an open mind to help people. When I know people have been properly taken care of, that makes me feel good and keeps me motivated to learn, study and also continue to help people. That motivation keeps me going and work just doesn't seem so mundane afterwards. As well, knowing that my efforts will eventually lead to my wedding next year, that also helps me from getting burned out too.

    Anyways, I might have been off to try and answer the question.
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    millworx wrote: »
    So might as well knock out CCNP ROUTE while I'm at it. Scheduled it for tommorow, surprised there are spots open. I figured if I take get the intermediate exams out of the way while studying for IE it will help keep me motivated. I'll let yall know how I do!

    Go for it! Good Luck, it will be fun. icon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
    Welp knocked ROUTE out of the way. Passed pretty easy too. Guess it helps I've been studying for IE this whole time. It's deff not on the level as the IE topics. I'de celebrate with a beer, but I drank 2 four lokos last night on an empty stomach and I think if I do so again my body will protest.
    Currently Reading:
    CCIE: Network Security Principals and Practices
    CCIE: Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    Well congrats there..... icon_smile.gif Looks like there will be an NP enroute to IE..... :) Good start to the weekend!
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
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