A recent survey found that the biggest barrier to candidates wanting to study IT certifications (and I would image a similar statistic was found in other areas of academia) was time. I struggled with this issue myself recently. Having to find time for a full-time job, family, friends and then to slot in time to study something was a real problem.
It also leads to procrastination. I’m not behind with my certifications as such. I’m an MCSA in Server 2012 and Windows 8 but the move to Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 meant that the hill to climb for upgrading certifications was so steep and the time I had was so little it was daunting to know where to start so I ended up avoiding it.
The best advice I could give is to split things down as much as possible and set aside a daily study target when you can dedicate yourself. If it’s hard to find an hour a day to study then do 30mins. If it’s hard to find 30mins then do 10. The key here is to do something, anything to move you forward. The hill may still seem steep but you’ll find that making short sharp steps will get you going and it’s much easier to keep going once you’ve set off.
Personally, I started with 30mins per day on a main certification, exam or topic. I then have 20 mins or so per day to split into secondary topics or exams. This is just a minimum though. I try to keep to at least this minimum. What I often find is that once I’m into a particular section or topic I often go over my minimum without realising.
Things like this take time to embed into a habit. Taking time to study seems like such a huge task and so it often takes a back seat. Commit to something small, anything, to get you going.