Studying Plateau

xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
So I've reached a point in my studying where I can't focus anymore.

I could be reading, and 5 pages later, i forgot what I just read.

Might because I'm just bored re-learning EIGRP/OSPF.

I've been on a non-stop studying mode (for other certifications, and now this one).

I've tried to switch up and watch videos, but still the same.

I've tried to just do labs... but again. The same.

So now I think i'm just going to stop studying as much, and start studying something I don't know, or not too familiar with, like Redistribution and BGP.

Anyone have any other tricks or tips of breaking through the plateau and making progress again?
nerd power.


  • Timber WolfTimber Wolf Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I find breaking up the material by studying something else for a little bit helps. I don't mean full on stopping and studying for a different cert but just picking up a book of a different topic such as MS or Linux or even different Cisco focus like voice or security helps. So for instance i might read a CCNP book for 5 days but then read an MS exam book for a day or two then back to Cisco.

    I just find the change of topics helps keep me interested and also helps wen i want to start studying for a different cert il already have a base knowledge so its just a matter of buckling down and really digging into the material.
    WGU BS IT - Security
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  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    in all honesty mate, it sounds like you need a break completely as you have burn out. This happens to me alot, plus the fact that i cant constantly study whilst sacrificing my social life. For me, i need a good balance in life. So every once in a while i will stop studying completely for a month or so. I'll go out and do what i want when i want, play xbox, play sports, go visit places and so on. this way i would recharge the batteries etc for the next attack :D

    At the time i used to do that i would study for 5-6 days a week after working long hours. Since i realised life is too short and decided to half that amount of study time. In all honesty, for me, i have a more healthy and enjoyable life and dont get to beat up about cert/career progress now, besides i have plenty of time for that. Thankfully, im single, god knows what its like for the guys with families etc.

    Im always of the opinion that theres more to life than work. So dont worry if things take a tad longer.
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  • SharkDiverSharkDiver Member Posts: 844
    I often try to put myself on a self-imposed ban of all studying or reading technical materials. I will pick up a Stephen King book or something. Usually by the time I am half-way through the book, I am dying to get back to learning.
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    good advice guys. right now I have the luxury of studying at work, since we have downtime I guess you could say.
    our contract with our customer doesnt start until the beginning of the next year, so I wanted to atleast knock CCNP Route out before then.

    For a while, I was studying at work, then studying at home. I cut studying at home out completely. I noticed that if I watched videos during the day, and tried reading in the evening, I was falling asleep and wasnt retaining anything.

    I do feel a lil burnt out from studying so much. I've studied so much in the past few months getting certifications left and right for work, that when I attempt a mountain like CCNP Route, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

    I'm going to try and switch it up a bit. Get my butt back in the gym. See if that alleviates some stress. I've already cut my studying from weekends, so I can relax, catch up on sleep and focus on soccer.

    I really want to WANT to study when I get to work. Study now, because I wont have much time studying come beginning of the year.
    nerd power.
  • cisco_troopercisco_trooper Too many Member Posts: 1,442 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It always helps motivation when you have the ability to apply what you learn. Labbing has always renewed my motivation to learn because I always find a problem to solve, which I simply cannot resist.

    Burn out is different. If you burn out, you MUST take a break. You will take a break one way or another whether you like it or not. You may as well learn to identify your breaking point so you can stay ahead of it. If you are starting to burn out, take a break.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    A lot of good advice! Just like exercising, when you hit a Plateau, you need to either take a break, or mix things up. I may study for 30mins, then do something else for 30 mins and so on. You'll only be able to absorb so much.
  • creamy_stewcreamy_stew Member Posts: 406 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree with nel etc. You need a break before you crash.

    I'd say, set a date two weeks from now, when you'll start you studies again. (But make sure you'll stick to it)

    Until then, spend time with your family/go out drinking/take a vacation.

    DON'T study during this time. DON'T even think about studying.

    When you come back, take a practise exam and take notes of everything you didn't have a clue about and study those subjects. Yeah, you'll probably do poorly, but you'll have a more accurate gauge of what you know and what you don't know.

    Right now, you're in panic mode. (I can practically smell the adrenaline)
    Itchy... Tasty!
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  • hkechoeshkechoes Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think you need a break... not to study another topic nor another certification, but to completely put down all of your studies, maybe a 3-day break, or a 1-week vacation will do the magic for you :)
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    well I put CCNP aside for now.

    I actually am reading into Security now. Playing with the Cisco IPS 4200 here at work. learning how to navigate through it, looking up recommended architecture designs for an IPS, and reading up on integration with ASA's.

    A lot of my coworkers said they think I'm boring myself because I'm passionate about security. This here just proved their theory.

    I took time off last week to help stack&rack out datacenter. I'm not going to start my CCNP Route studies again until next monday. Taking the holiday/weekend off from everything.

    When I come back on Monday, I'll start on something thats new to me, BGP/Route Redistribution. That should get my motivation going.

    For now, I'm just going to PLAY with security for a bit.

    All great advice guys. THANKS!
    nerd power.
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    So far it's working! All I want to do right now, is open my Route book and start reading. I'm going to hold off until Monday.

    For now I'm studying up on AccelOps. Watching videos, preparing for my training on Monday. (its a work thing).

    Also come monday, I'm going to schedule my test for the end of December. That'll put the fire under my feet to focus.

    A lil bit of a competition going on at work too.. my coworker already passed his CCNP Route, and he's taking his CCNP Switch today.
    I have some catching up to do.

    so just wanted to thank everyone once again for the good advice. Hope these suggestions help others when they feel like they've hit a brick wall.
    nerd power.
  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Haha I've done the same - was having (somewhat) similar problems. Have scheduled the exam to get the fires burning and try to get over the last little hump I seem to have. My exam is scheduled for Dec 15th (it was either that or early Jan or a 2-hour drive).

    Good luck to us both!
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    Current goal: Dunno
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