Top 5 AWS Study Tips for Busy Professionals
In this fast-paced world, there are a lot of things in our TO DO list that needs to be accomplished in such a short period of time. We wake up, prepare for work, rush to the office, attend our daily stand-up scrum meeting, do our Jira tickets for the current sprint, attend a yet-another-meeting at work, take care of the kids, pump iron, de-stress, socialize, hit the sack and repeat the process the next day.
Where can we find the time to upgrade our skills or let alone, pass a tough AWS certification exam? Here are some helpful AWS study tips for the busy professional:
1. Keep Your Eye on the Goal
We all have goals but sometimes, we get distracted and lose track of where we are going. One way to fix this is to always keep your eye on the goal, which basically means that you have to track your progress using a spreadsheet or any tool that you prefer. No matter how small your progress is, you should always monitor it so you know how near, or far off, you are in your goal.
Personally, I use a good ‘ol spreadsheet for planning and for tracking my progress. I also focus on the rewards that I’ll reap once I achieved my goal (e.g. higher salary, career progression). I always look at it in the morning before all of the hustle and bustle of the city consumes me. It acts like a map that shows me where I am and how close I am to the place that I want to be.
Sometimes, I also post it on my social media account (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). It is also a good thing if you have friends or like-minded people who encourage you to pursue your objectives. They might even share to you some tips on how they were able to achieve their goals.
2. Plan Your Day the Night Before
Put your subconscious mind at work and plan your tasks and activities for tomorrow the night before. I got this idea from Brian Tracy, a well known motivational public speaker, and self-development author. You will be surprised that when you wake up, there is some sort of clarity in your mind that you must do the tasks which you’ve planned the night before.
3. While Commuting and Eating Lunch, Study!
What do you usually do when you are travelling to work? While most people just play games, listen to music and scroll endlessly on their social media feed, you can read AWS whitepapers or do some practice exams on your Udemy mobile app while you are on the go.
I live in Sydney and we have double-decker trains here which are quite comfortable. There are usually two seats at the back of each level where you can sit on your own (a.k.a Solo Seats!). This is where I usually sit so I can use my laptop and study in peace, without being rattled by my fellow commuters, while traveling to the office.
At lunchtime, I usually limit it to only 30 minutes and then use the other half-hour for studying. Alternatively, I just watch AWS videos or read whitepapers on my phone while eating. I also avoid idle chatting as much as I can, especially when I’m in my “Exam Prep” week.
4. Watch AWS Videos While Exercising
This may not be suitable for everyone. If you want to focus on your exercise, then, by all means, give your undivided attention to your gym time. For me, I usually watch videos while running on my treadmill or lifting weights at home. I know that it’s kinda distracting if you are counting your reps and your sets, so I suggest that you base your performance in terms of time.
For example, I’ll be doing bicep curls for 15 minutes and do pull-ups for the next 15 while watching a 30-minute AWS re:Invent video on YouTube. I don’t count my repetitions but I just track the actual time that I’m doing the exercise. In this way, I can concentrate on what I’m watching and lose weight at the same time!
Whenever you feel stressed out, just sweat out! This will give you the extra energy you need, which that cup of coffee won’t provide. A 15-minute power nap works wonders too.
5. Focus on Your Study using White Noise
Before I hit the sack, I usually study for an hour or so. Sometimes, however, there are a lot of distractions and noise that can affect your much-needed concentration. Or perhaps, your kids are throwing a tantrum or there is a party next door.
Some people can block the noise by playing music. Sadly, that doesn’t work for me since I tend to be distracted easily with lyrics and melodies. If you are like me, then I recommend listening to white noise to block off the hubbub. It can be in the form of rain, sea/waves, crickets chirping, jungle or the plain radio static sound. I actually used it first when I had a short-lived tinnitus years ago.
Here’s the one that I usually use:
You might also like our collection of AWS Study Guides to help you out in your AWS Exam Prep:
Do you have any other tips that you can share?