I was terrible about doing homework when I was a kid.Â It was always so much easier to think of the excuse I was going to use the next day than it was to turn off the TV and just do it.
I can remember too many occasions when the teacher would collect homework and try to name-and-shame me in front of the class.Â âWhere is your homework, Eric?â
âI didnât do it,â I said while looking down at my desk and hoping the teacher would just move on to someone else.Â I figured if I looked pitiful enough, he would leave me alone.
“Well, why didnât you do it?â he would insist.Â I could see his legs at the edge of my desk as he towered above me waiting for an answer.Â He wasnât going to accept that as my only answer. The whole classâ attention was on me.Â I could feel my face getting hot with embarrassment, but hey, Knight Rider was worth it.
So, I gave the teacher the go-to answer for everything.Â I give him the answer that Iâm sure all teachers loatheââI forgot.â
Towards the end of the school year, they usually gave up on me.Â My parents tried everything to get me to do my homework, too.Â But it was so easy to lie about how much homework I had.Â Besides, I had a busy schedule starting with He-Man at 3:30 and ending with whatever prime time show was on that night before 9.
As I got older, the homework load got heavier and the likelihood of me doing it was much smaller.Â My aversion to homework, along with my truancy habit, were the reasons I failed several classes in high school and went to Summer school ever year to make them up. My dad still talks about how he wasnât sure whether I would graduate from high school at all.Â I never even applied to any colleges.
I can remember my mom telling me that homework was a part of life and that I would get homework all the time when I grew up and went to work.Â I didnât really believe this.Â Grown-ups donât have any homework.
Now, I do have homework.Â But hereâs the big differenceâthe homework is not mandatory.Â That really makes it difficult to do.
Now, I will sit down in the evenings with a big computer book read chapter after boring chapter of a subject which might not interest me in the slightest, but I need to know it.Â I look at this homework the same way I look at running on a cold morningâthere are hundreds of reasons not to do it, but one or two compelling reasons to do it.
Now, my job is to stay competitive and relevant in a market that is always moving.Â Now I must stay ahead of technology that is always shifting.Â Now, I sell the skills and knowledge thatâs contained in between my ears.Â My competition for work is not just in London, but in America, China, India, and the rest of the world.
So, I have to keep building that knowledge.Â That means homework and studying.Â What makes it easier is that not everyone does this.Â To many people, if the boss doesnât demand it, or if it canât be a prominent bullet-point on the cv, itâs not worth learning.Â The phrase I hear again and again is âThe last thing I want to do when I get home from a long day at work is think about computers.â
But Iâve also worked with a lot of really good people who will browse the tech manuals on the trains or watch tutorial videos in the evenings to constantly educate themselves too.
I remember listening to a Brian Tracy tape years ago where he said (Iâm paraphrasing), that you give eight hours to your employer and ever added hour goes to building you.
So, now I know the importance of homework and evening study.Â Life would have been a lot easier if I learned it earlier.