CCIE study time management

Unanswered Question
Aug 13th, 2009

hello friends,

i am working in one of the ISP and my job timings are 9AM to 6PM and till i reach home, its about 9pm therefore i could not study more that 30min to 1hrs hence i am feeling very deperest about my future for salarywise, pls provide me better tricks and suggestions to cover up the portion of CCIE track

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Overall Rating: 5 (2 ratings)
jgagznos Thu, 08/13/2009 - 10:24

Unfortunately, this is really a decision (balancing act) that you will need to make. I will also go out on a limb and say that this is probably the most important preparation task you will need to manage.

Here is some advice - perhaps, some of these ideas will work for you. First, choose an evening where you will do NO study. For me that was Friday nights. That day was reserved for chores, family & friends, dining out, and other personal commitments you have (plus it is a good break).

On your weekends (or time off), plan on long days at the rack. 10 to 12 hour days doing nothing but study. Lock yourself in a room or whatever you have to do. Spend this time doing lab scenarios, reading technology papers, and working on the blueprint tasks.

The tough part now. During your work week try to find at least 3 or 4 hours of study. For me, that was in the evenings. For others, that means getting up early and studying. It looks like you spend 3 hours a day commuting. Are you utilizing that time to read? Can you purchase some classes on demand and simply listen to someone talk about the technologies on a IPOD or CD player?

Time management is difficult for everyone. But if you are going to be successful, this is something that you will HAVE to figure out. Having a set day off really helped me (family & friends would actually change their plans to include me on my day off).

Good Luck,


jbrenesj Thu, 08/13/2009 - 10:58

Hi, definitely 1 hour a day is not enough but as Joe stated, you must use your days off work and dedicate 10 hours of continuous but useful time, mostly doing labs, the reading you can do during the week or if you travel (bus, train). In case you drive those 3 hours a day I really recommend getting videos, listen to them with whatever means you have.

As a personal experience, I managed to use 1 hr of my working hours to study (maybe at lunch), then I read books and whitepapers at night and the weekend was all about labs, just to cheer you up, it took me less than a year so it is a sacrifice but it will definitely pay off somehow, either money or personal satisfaction.

Come on, put some commitment together and you'll see that in a couple of months you'll be so used to studying that the time off will hurt.

sourabh1000_2 Thu, 08/13/2009 - 20:06

thanks a lot Joe and JB, here you both have provided very valuable ideas and support to me...i will make sure on daily basis, i will finish some of the small topics and cover up drafted technology at end of the weekend i.e mostly on Sunday..

again thanks a lot...

cameron.moody Thu, 08/13/2009 - 22:15

As you work at an ISP I have a few hints from my experience as well (by no means CCIE but have helped with other certs and study)....

I totally agree with the "listening to material" suggestion that other people have given. I found that while I may not take it all in, some parts do sink in and by the time I've listened 2 or 3 times I'll remember it. Of course I do recommend doing this as a supplement and have dedicated time to focus on the material too!

Since most of your day is at work why not try to use this to your advantage?

Think about multiple ways about going about fixing / implementing things in your job which will also aid in your "study". It may help if you write down pros/cons of each way of doing things to reinforce it.

Depending on what you do, if you are in a tiered environment for example, maybe try "going further" with troubleshooting etc, or trying to work with the next level guys more?

It may also be an option since it is in the companies interest as well, to spend part of your daily or weekly work to spend a few hours a day dedicated to the study (while at work), and only be called into your "job" if needed.

If available, use their lab on when things are quiet to try out ideas etc.

I guess a lot of this comes down to your employer and what you actually do at an ISP but has these are things that have worked well for me :)



sourabh1000_2 Thu, 08/13/2009 - 22:28

thanks for your reply...

what you have mentioned things are right but then it will take lot of time to achive CCIE Track number and i need to cross CCIE Qual and LAB before become non-bachelor person..i am thinking by financially..


cameron.moody Thu, 08/13/2009 - 22:39

Sure sounds like you are in a hurry to get CCIE !! (don't blame you)

Don't know if its on the cards for you or your work but an option may be to take a day off each week as annual leave to study. You may be suprised how much more you can do in 3 days in a row of study :) Or keep studying as much as you can (ie lunch break, weekends, etc) and then take a few weeks off to focus on doing as much lab time as you can and see how you're placed and then book it?

sourabh1000_2 Thu, 08/13/2009 - 22:46

i planned something like this..i am starting preparation from today onwards..

Wilson Samuel Fri, 08/14/2009 - 04:44


Thanks sourabh for such a great post.

I have a very very hectic schedule apart from job, I'm a "free taxi driver" working for my better half and then a small kid, however even with all this, I'm managing to put atleast 2 hours on a daily basis of real reading, and starting a small lab for home (I'm on Voice Track so its CUCM et al) and then try squeeze as much as possible time at work (it helps me anyways).

I took som real tips from this thread and would be more determined to pursue my Qual and Lab (just bega prep.) and hope to finish it by 2Q 2010.

Which track you are on?


Wilson Samuel

mohankuderu Fri, 08/14/2009 - 04:57

Hi Sourab,

Even I too work inISP environment and my timing is worst than yours atleast you have the fixed timing from 9-6, but some times i do work for 6 hours or some time 16 hours. So do not be depressed. have a good food and have a good sleep, but think about your AIM and act upon it, wether it is night or the day to achieve your goal. Learn that when you are in depressed how to come out of it. Avoid Cig's and alchohol. Keep going donot stop.

Every great people have achieved their goals when the situation are in worst condition and not in IDEAL condition.

It's the thing which need to ignite in your heart and the soul first ie, " MY Goal is to achieve CCIE"


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