12 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Lab Time

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Often times you may have rack time only to find that much of it is wasted away. At the end of the session you sit asking yourself where all your time went. Here are  12 Ways to Get the Most out of Lab Time:

  1. Download the pre-configuration files from whatever vendor you are using ahead of time.  There is no reason why you shouldn’t have them prior to starting you lab.
  2. Choose the scenario you want to work on prior to the start of your lab time.
  3. Once you have the scenario selected look at the default (pre-) configurations for that lab.  Add things to them like the “no shut” command on interfaces you need to use or the “enable” and “config t” commands at the beginning of the configuration file.  This makes it faster when you past the configurations into an empty router.
  4. Write a perl or expect script. You can quickly write a perl or expect script to log in and load a configuration.  This automates much of the initial process.  More lab time for you!
  5. Don’t waste your lab time reading the lab. You should have already done this.  Lab time is Lab time.
  6. Put it on the calendar and set a reminder. If its in writing and you are reminded about it you are more likely to start on time.  You are committed.
  7. Shut the door. If you study at home let your family know that you will be busy for a while and shut the door.
  8. Go to a coffee shop: This gets you away from the demands of the family.
  9. If you study at Work then put a sign up that tells people you are busy.
  10. Shut off your phone.
  11. Turn off your email.
  12. If you are using a Mac you can download “Isolatorto block out distracting windows.  This brings focus to just your terminal window.  If you are using Windows try DropCloth.

So- What do you think?  How do you make lab time more effective?

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