Ethan Banks On productivity.

3 Months To Go


It’s 3 months to go before my first lab attempt, and I’m having one of those weeks.  I’m treading water at work, barely.  When the budget money frees up at the first of the year, all these different projects take off.  At varying levels of involvement, I’m tied up with a 10-gig upgrade for two cores, campus LAN upgrade, QoS rollout, design for a new MPLS service our carriers are insisting we move to (I guess frame won’t last forever), lab network build-up, standards and compliance issues, dynamic ARP inspection for non-DHCP networks (hooray for ARP access-lists), and deploying DNS recursion servers.  And probably other stuff I’m forgetting.  I’ve been wiped at the end of every day this week…just beat down, out of mental energy.

Tonight, I gave my tired mind something mindless to do:  my taxes.  My taxes are done, e-filed, and already forgotten about (except for the refund I can expect in 9 to 15 working days).  Study this week?  Oof.  Yeah, I did a little.  I’m heavy into dynamic ARP inspection this week because of an issue we had at work with a customer misaddressing his colo box and dupe-ing the gateway IP.  Now we’re all excited to roll out DAI stop that threat.  So, that’s been studying in the sense that it’s OJT that’s directly applicable to the lab exam…at least potentially applicable.  I didn’t know there was such thing as an ARP access-list until this week, so that’s got to be a good thing.

I had a big win at work on a different project in that EIGRP stub routing worked exactly like I said it would to this other guy doing most of the IOS hacking.  I whipped him up a little “redistribute connected route-map” code to redistribute select loopback interfaces, shipped it off to him to install with EIGRP stub, and just like that we were able to remove a bunch of other code.  Using EIGRP stub, we were able to remove some distribute-list statements and the related access-lists, simply by letting stub routing do its thing.  So that was huge – we need to test the stub functionality more, but ultimately it’s going to get rolled into a template that we’ll use to build probably a couple of thousand routers over the next few years.  To be able to bring stub routing to the table, explain it, win a colleague over with the idea, and then have it test successfully, and all in the space of an hour, really brought home just how valuable the CCIE prep has been.

But I’m tired.  I don’t want to study right now, and in fact I’m not going to.  I’m heading for bed as soon as I post this.  I’m hoping tomorrow is a little quieter, and Saturday I’m planning on 8-ish hours of something or another.  I still have some specific technologies I need to pick at.  Oh, and I need to post the solution to my “mini lab” from a few days ago.  Plus, Saturday evening, I have family coming over for my son’s birthday party.  So I won’t get in as many hours as I might otherwise.

Someone asked me in a blog comment how I have to time to keep up with everything.  The answer is that I don’t.  I’m just doing my best with a finite number of hours in the day.  I have to work, I have to commute, I have to take care of family and a house, and I’m also involved in my church other other extracurricular activities.  Some guys talk about getting in 30 hours of studying in a week.  HA!  I’m not close to that.  Not even kind of close.  15, maybe?  20, tops on a perfect week?  I guess it depends on what you count as “studying,” too.  I get about 8 hours a week on the rack, but I probably do 8 hours of reading, between stuff I do at work for work, and stuff I do on my own.  Plus blogging.  Although this post is mostly fluff, most of my posts are really me regurgitating my notes and working through my issues on the blogosphere.  Blogging has forced me to look up many technical details I might have otherwise let slide.  That’s actually been a big help, and it’s a study technique I’ve used since junior high.  I’d take notes in class, then type them all as a way to study for a test.  Typing notes was a great review, and also made for a nice, tidy way to review for semester and final exams.  LOL – I wish I had the time to read back through all the 300+ articles I’ve blogged.  I could probably learn some pretty good stuff…

By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

Find out more on his about page.