Does anyone else have Problems with FOCUSING During Cert Studies?

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,287Member ■■■■■■■□□□
Hey guys,

Does anyone else get distracted while studying for certs?

When I watch a video or read something cert I get distracted after 5 minutes. It's hard to focus at times.

Labs seem different, because I stay focused, but even during labs I can get distracted at times.

It gets to the point where I will just go do something else, and then come back.

I noticed this in other parts of my life, but it's really noticeable during certs.

Does anyone else go through this?

It seems to have gotten worse as I have gotten older.

For example, I can watch a video for 70-410, and then after 5 or times minutes of listening to the video, go to a news website and read the news while the video is running.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

Comments

  • kMastaFlashkMastaFlash Posts: 1,012Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Are you interested in the material at all or are you doing it for work?

    If you are not interested in it, you won't want to focus on it.

    Find a study medium that helps you focus more. Ex: Find MP3s of a course for 70-410 and you can browse the internet @ the same time!

    Not the best method but could be an option.

    MP3 course if interested: https://www.examforce.com/products/microsoft/70-410-audiosg
    2018: CCSK
    2019: CWSP,Cloud+,Project+,CASP,PenTest+,CWNA,CCNA Security,GXPN,GREM
    2021: LPIC-2,JNCIS-ENT,eLearnSecurity Courses
  • IristheangelIristheangel ABL - Always Be Labbin' Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,114Mod Mod
    Yes. Adding on what was previously said, sometimes you have to shut off all the chat and temptations and just do it. If you feel it's something more than that like a chemical problem, I would consult a doctor. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a teenager and again as a 30-something year old adult. I started taking meds in the last year and a half that helped after being adamantly anti-medication for this problem for the longest time.

    Note: If you end up getting diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, you still have to be motivated and have self discipline to study regardless of what meds you're put on. You could have medication that helps but if you have a lot of temptations on your desktop, you might still have a problem focusing on the "right" thing and go down a rabbit hole.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
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  • IristheangelIristheangel ABL - Always Be Labbin' Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,114Mod Mod
    In case anyone has questions, I should also note that my problem with focus extended well past my studying and into my personal and professional life. It wasn't a matter of not being motivated or interested but a genuine difficult time staying focused for normal periods of time on every day things that I love or were interested in (webinars, conversations with friends & loved ones, driving, etc). I used to not even be able to drive without wanting to check my phone, play with the radio, or have some other form of distraction up which I deemed pretty unsafe and bad.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
    Bonus TE Fun: Nerd Photos
  • PseudonymPseudonym Senior Member Posts: 327Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I find when I'm losing focus, I remember why I'm doing it in the first place. You have to have that end goal in sight. Whether it's a higher paid/more interesting/professionally rewarding job,and by extension, a house, a car, for your kid's education, whatever. Even if it seems far away, I push that to the forefront of my mind, and it tends to push me on for at least an hour or 2. If I feel it slipping I do it again.
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I
    Working on - RHCSA
  • kMastaFlashkMastaFlash Posts: 1,012Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You know, the OP could always get one of those "clinically proven" fidget spinners to help cope with ADD/ADHD!! ;)

    Still in my 20s so I keep up to date with all those trends!! :)

    However, the way society is now with constant distractions around every corner doesn't always mean it's ADHD!

    Best method to really test this out (in my opinion)

    Since you are studying for MCSA server 2012, grab the MCSA study guide and sit in a room by yourself like solitary confinement and see if you can study for at least 30mins without any distractions. Sometimes you have to force yourself to not get distracted.
    2018: CCSK
    2019: CWSP,Cloud+,Project+,CASP,PenTest+,CWNA,CCNA Security,GXPN,GREM
    2021: LPIC-2,JNCIS-ENT,eLearnSecurity Courses
  • IristheangelIristheangel ABL - Always Be Labbin' Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,114Mod Mod
    Agreed, KMaster. Just because you get distracted doesn't mean it's ADHD just like getting sad doesn't make you clinically depressed and requiring anti-depressants. It takes a lot more than being distracted by studying to mean you have a chemical problem and I hope I empathized that in my response.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
    Bonus TE Fun: Nerd Photos
  • kMastaFlashkMastaFlash Posts: 1,012Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    No worries all good!! One thing in IT in general is jumping from task to task on the fly! One second you are finishing up a report the next second you are helping an end user. My honest thoughts for the OP is if they work in IT, it's just the nature of the beast with distractions around every corner. When I have my skype for business go off with PMs bugging the crap out of me, you learn to cope with it and adjust. ;) Best advice, learn to turn the "on the fly distraction" switch on and off!! It will prevent a lot of stress later on in life be it personal with studying for certs or your professional life! Hope it was relevant my post!

    Also just curious for the OP, when you notice this distraction when studying, are you usually drained from a day at work? This is probably your body telling you that a break is necessary! Develop a study schedule that works best for you with no distractions. Routine is key when studying (at least for me it is everyone is different) Paul Browning (author of CCNA in 60 days book) actually had a good post about study schedules. If anyone finds it let me know!
    2018: CCSK
    2019: CWSP,Cloud+,Project+,CASP,PenTest+,CWNA,CCNA Security,GXPN,GREM
    2021: LPIC-2,JNCIS-ENT,eLearnSecurity Courses
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 271Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    A lot of the study material is boring so it is easy to lose track. If you are not in a groove, stand up and stretch, grab a cold drink or H20 and then go back at it.

    I get distracted if the room is too quiet so I always have "white noise" in the form of a movie or music playing in the background but not overpowering my study session.

    Set a goal with sliding routines: How much do you want to study during a particular session while accounting for breaks.
    Comb through every study session before moving on to the next: Chapter/section one complete. Do the chapter/section test until you get 100% every single time. Thoroughly research all incorrect answers. Sometimes this research is more interesting than the actual studying.

    You are wondering, "how does this help me?"

    Easy!! You are setting a routine! Once set, you can get into a groove and will practically have to force yourself to take a break.

    Last but not least; If you are tired and/or distracted before starting the session you will have the same composure during the session.

    Good Luck!
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,748Mod Mod
    Hey guys,

    Does anyone else get distracted while studying for certs?

    When I watch a video or read something cert I get distracted after 5 minutes. It's hard to focus at times.

    Labs seem different, because I stay focused, but even during labs I can get distracted at times.

    It gets to the point where I will just go do something else, and then come back.

    I noticed this in other parts of my life, but it's really noticeable during certs.

    Does anyone else go through this?

    It seems to have gotten worse as I have gotten older.

    For example, I can watch a video for 70-410, and then after 5 or times minutes of listening to the video, go to a news website and read the news while the video is running.

    Yup, it's like you're peeking into my office. Oh it was bad doing the CISM QAE DB. I would answer a few questions and want to jump into another tab and go check this or that.

    Similar to Iris, I was diagnosed with ADD at a very young age. Took myself off meds at 12 years of age and self managed since. Not going to lie, it's been a struggle at times and I've had to sink more time into tests and things than others have to, and like Iris I've been very anti-med since, but it's been hard.

    kMasta also hit the nail on the head, pursuing things that I really WANT to is also key to helping stay focused or having the drive to pursue, but for a person with ADD/ADHD that sometimes doesn't even matter. For me I've learned to not bother with things that I don't have a true desire to do. CISM has been something I've wanted to do for a long time so I was able to push through and get it done. The CISA is more because it's related to what I do and I should go ahead and get it. Having a little bit more trouble with that one.

    Best advice, get a physical book and go somewhere quiet with no TV, phone, or tablet/laptop to study.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python)
  • Chrisbari14Chrisbari14 Posts: 72Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's hard for me to stay focused when studying too! It's rather sometimes frustrating, but I always make the material interesting by maybe rapping the material in my head or I try thinking of a scenario in which I can apply what I'm reading. I'm in my early 20s and it's so easy for me to either look at Sports highlights on youtube or look at my multiple social media accounts. I usually log out of everything and turn my phone on vibrate. I also make sure I'm in a suitable environment. Maybe try using candles like lavender and try studying. It helps me !
    Loading.... WGU- BS:IT- Network Administration
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  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Posts: 609Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you read into an electronic form, close all notification... Also, real have this kind of good behavior, no distraction...


    If you look at video like Pluralsight, use a Chromecast it help to focus. Also, adjust the speed of the video to more than 1x, so it need more concentration
  • sillymcnastysillymcnasty Posts: 254Member
    I have a problem where I read all the words in front of me but my mind is elsewhere. For the AWS white pages I would have to read something 10x before even knowing what I read
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    When entertainment is literally just a click away I'm not surprised you find it hard to stay focused. Some of the great minds of our time and previous generations have had to shut themselves away to get any meaningful work done.

    I'm currently on a crusade in my own life to fix this. I'm so addicted to my entertainment that it makes it so hard to get real work done. Between Gmail, Facebook Messages and other distractions there is very little time in the day to get much long uninterrupted time to focus on learning and improving. I've been slowly shutting down channels (Instagram/Mobile notifications/alerts) on my devices. Unfortunately like sugar in our food, distraction has been riddled through our current existence and I feel overwhelmed when trying to do anything that requires long concentration. It's almost like I'm waiting to be interrupted and if I'm not interrupted I'll turn to some form of distraction after a few minutes.

    I think for a lot of us it's time to really disconnect and not to get high on our own supply.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU
  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,287Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Are you interested in the material at all or are you doing it for work?

    If you are not interested in it, you won't want to focus on it.

    Find a study medium that helps you focus more. Ex: Find MP3s of a course for 70-410 and you can browse the internet @ the same time!

    Not the best method but could be an option.

    MP3 course if interested: https://www.examforce.com/products/microsoft/70-410-audiosg

    Well right now I'm not working in IT. I'm looking for my next IT job.

    I'm interested in the topic, but the power shell stuff does get boring after awhile.

    It doesn't help that I never truly worked on servers in previous IT jobs.

    I think spending 15 minutes at a time on a video might help me focus better.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,287Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Thanks guys for the responses!!

    I like the idea of finding a quiet place.

    I might try classic music on head phone while reading or the Library.

    The videos really need to be less than 30 minutes for me to get anything out of them.

    Recently I signed up for CBT Nuggets and I enjoy the short length of the videos.

    I think I will have to just buckle down and get stuff done.

    The hardest part of studying is that I used most of the Comptia knowledge that I was studying for.

    I don't use the Server stuff so much, so it does make it harder for it to sink in at times.

    I'm going to try to create a study schedule, and see if that helps.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,748Mod Mod
    One thing that might help too is to lab things out. Doing actual hands on work helps reinforce what you do study, and it's easier to focus on because you're actively engaged in DOING it. I know that helps me a ton. Anything practical is so much better for me than rote memorization.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python)
  • shimasenseishimasensei Senior Member Posts: 241Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yup, a quiet environment without your smartphone and taking short breaks will help.
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F, MCSA:Win10
    Future Plans: MSc + PMP, CCIE/NPx, GIAC...
  • jibtechjibtech Posts: 377Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I struggle with this no matter the format. I find that taking notes along the way both keeps me focused and reinforces the material.
  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    I bought a set of these to focus: 3M ear muff.
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