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Lync Factor: The Day-to-Day Drill  

Editor’s Note: Trainer Chris Ward is studying for Microsoft Lync Server certification. This is the third in a series of posts during which he’ll share his experiences and advice. 

I am the worst when it comes to procrastinating. That’s why my days need a bit of planning. My daily routine used to be something like this:Chris_LyncServerSeries_EMAIL

  1. Wake up
  2. Drink coffee
  3. Shower and dress
  4. Drive to work
  5. Work at whatever seemed important
  6. Drive home
  7. Eat dinner
  8. Record Nuggets
  9. Watch Dr. Who with the kids
  10. Sleep

Notice No. 5? That’s where I usually winged it. But winging it doesn’t cut it when you are trying to pass three exams in three months. Especially when you are pulling down a full time job, plus other extra-curricular activities.

So, what I’ve been doing is slicing up No. 5 into easy-to-chew, bite-size pieces that will ensure I’m getting my study on — and still accomplishing my goals. Let’s face it, there’s always work to be done as a CBT Nugget trainer! Here’s my drill:

  1. Watch one Nugget. Take notes. Highlight anything important.
  2. Spend 30 minutes reading/reviewing the notes from previous Nugget.
  3. Launch a Transcender practice exam and run through an “Open Test” that chooses just a few questions. If I don’t understand a concept, I write it down and study, “Why this is right?  Why the others are wrong?”
  4. Break time! (Five to 10 minutes)
  5. Work on other tasks for a few hours.
  6. Eat lunch and watch another Nugget at the same time.
  7. Read notes from the morning Nugget.
  8. Complete other tasks.

At work, even if your boss hasn’t asked you to pass an exam, it’s a good idea (and it doesn’t hurt to try) to approach him/her with this drill and say something such as, “I’m working hard on getting this certification which will benefit the company, as well as myself. Can I have an hour in the morning to watch a Nugget?” If that’s not possible, with mobile apps and offline training available, you can go out to lunch and watch Nuggets during that time.

The important part, gang? Consistency. Even if I don’t get to do all of what I put down on my drill, I still do my best and forget the rest. Move on. You still will be getting the info you need. If you have time in the evenings and a virtual lab environment, that’s even better!

So keep it up! I’m working hard and will touch base with you as I move on to the 70-412 exam. The 411 exam is scheduled and I’m racing to the finish line of that leg. Until next time!


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