I write about this a lot, but it’s because I see it happen over and over.
Look over these common study mistakes and see if you are making or more of them.
1. Not Studying at the Same Time and Same Location Every Day
Even if you have to get up at 5am do it, you should study at the same time in the same place each day. When I first started out studying for the CCNA, I knew that the afternoon was out of the question and I often worked evening shifts on the helpdesk. That only left the morning for me, so I went to bed early each night and set the alarm for 5 am.
2. Not Working Out Your WHY
I was desperate to pass, so I could get a better paying job and move back to where my family was. The four guys I was sharing a house with made half-hearted efforts at studying but never took an exam. They had all left college and had no kids. They never had a powerful reason to study, so they never did. No reason WHY = no motivation.
3. Not Setting an Exam Date
If there is no date on the calendar, then you aren’t taking the exam. It’s that simple. Just like a driving test, when you have the date booked and paid for, you have a goal to focus on.
4. Not Studying First
So few people seem to use self-discipline. I found out when I started on a weight loss program that all the successful people were highly disciplined. Yes, we can all do it, but you need to change your habits (and find your WHY as I’ve said).
We work well with rewards, so set your reward to enjoy AFTER you have completed your study tasks for the day. I used to watch a DVD or see a movie. I knew that if I didn’t study, then I wouldn’t be able to have fun, which motivated me every time.
5. Not Planning in Advance
This is why my Cisco CCNA in 60 Days program works like magic. It’s all planned out for you. Same with the gym I go to. I know that Monday I train my back; Thursday, I train my legs. I never turn up not knowing what I’m training that day.
Map out your study sessions in advance. If you have to adjust, then do so. If you turn up to study without a plan, you can pretty much guarantee distractions, confusion, and frustration. I know because I’ve been there many times.
6. Not Getting Family Buy-in
Many partners resent it when we hide ourselves away to study. Kids often don’t understand it either, which is why you need to involve the family in your WHY.
My friend tried to study for years, but his wife kept complaining and shouting at him. He just gave up, but years later he is still stuck in the same dead end job, and now his wife shouts at him because they are broke. He should have gotten rid of that wife, but that’s another story.
Get your family involved in your reason why and the reward. When you pass, have a big family treat planned. Get your study and life balance right, so that you have quality time with them but also spend time studying so you can improve your life situation.
Don’t be one of those people who neglect their family for years but tell them that you are doing it for them!
7. Losing Momentum
A career in IT means you will always need to be learning. I take a week off between most exams, but then I’m back on it. Just like going to the gym, you need a bit of a rest, but without consistency, you will lose everything you worked so hard to achieve.
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