Motivation is a top priority in order to stay motivated for the PMP Certification Exam. Studying can become quite a chore when constantly giving up time for that which you enjoy. Here are eight simple tips to help keep you on track while you study for the PMP exam.
1. Surround Yourself with PMP Jargon
Let us start with where you sit during the day. Is there any empty space on your cube/office wall? If there is not room in the office, how about your bedroom? Looking at a poster of the PMP knowledge areas and/or ITTOs could be a big help.
2. Change Your Screensavers and Backgrounds
If you have a screensaver for your computer or phone, use study material for a screensaver picture. For example, a picture can be taken of Table 3.2 in the PMBoK to use as your screensaver. The same can be done for the desktop picture. However, switching up to some different PMP topics between the two might help to study even more material. How about putting Table 3.2 up for a screensaver and putting the EVM Formulas up on the computer desktop background. If you own a computer and a phone, that is 4 different study materials that you can be absorbing!
3. Use PMP related passwords
Since many folks are on the computer so often, let us talk about another way to be surrounded with the PMP while in the computer. How about creating PMP passwords, or rather, why are you taking the PMP passwords? For example, maybe a company will give a bonus of $3k when the PMP exam is passed. Or maybe since PMPs typically make at least $10k/yr more that is a motivation. Your password could be: $3kBonusIsWaiting, $10kLetsdothis, or Buy$omething$10k.
4. Connect with PMP resources on Social Media
Social media has become a huge part of our lives. Instead of using social media sites like Facebook to merely connect with friends, how about using them to advance your career? Go to Project Management Study pages, such as PMI, and “Like” them so that they can provide daily feeds on project management. When you encounter these posts, it could also be a wakeup call to get off of FaceBook and start studying! LinkedIn has many ways to get engaged with the PMP, as well. For example, there is a group called PMP Trivia that can be followed. RSS Feeds, Blogs (such as these from GreyCampus), and podcasts are some other great ways to learn. Searching hashtags on FaceBook and Twitter can even be helpful to keep up with the latest trends. Some hashtags to reference might be #PMP, #PMI, or #PMPEXAM.
5. Wear it!
Hulk Hogan said before he had any resemblance of muscles in his stomach, he started wearing a tank top to motivate towards attaining 6-pack abs. I thought of this the other day when I saw an overweight person on Facebook with an “Abs Coming Soon” shirt on. Why not put that focus on the PMP? How about wearing a custom shirt during weekend study time that says, “PMP Coming Soon”, “Let’s get PMP Certified”, or “PMP or Bust”.
6. Use a Schedule
Some people get motivated when they manage the PMP endeavor as a project and schedule it in a software program, such as Microsoft Project. A milestone approach is probably the most appropriate scheduling technique. Schedule out when you expect to take the test and then assign dates to when you want to have each knowledge area known by, or when you want the ITTOs known by, etc. This can give you an idea if you are over/under-running expectations.
7. Find a Support System
I think the best ways to pass the PMP, however, is to surround yourself with people who support your cause in passing the exam. Telling friends and family about your goals is helpful, but, further, telling them what you know about some of the PMP lessons will enhance the memory of what you do know. At dinner time, why not tell your family about the Monte Carlo Simulation technique? Another step could be going to a PMI Chapter, where like minded folks come together to bridge their project management experiences.
8. Attend a PMP Workshop
The absolute best way to be surrounded with people in preparation for the PMP Exam is by attending a PMP workshop. A PMP workshop gives straight focus on materials pertinent to the knowledge of passing the exam. People meet with others to digest best practices and most efficient ways to study going forward. An instructor can also be most helpful in that he/she has helped others before and can probably teach in a method that works according to how you learn. GreyCampus has multiple types of PMP workshop sessions, from online to classroom setting.
My advice would be to try one of these techniques as something new to spark routine and see if you do not get shocked by results! By implementing these tips, I’m confident you can stay motivated to study for and pass the PMP exam. Here’s to you, future PMP!
Author - Gregory Morrow