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You Were Never Taught How to Work

workOne of the greatest problems with the modern-day workplace is that people are not taught in school, or by their parents, how to work diligently, focused, and consistently.

Instead, schools give kids a pile of work, show them how to do it, give them a deadline, and then tell them to go do it. Schools focus on students performing work and tasks, but not on how they should perform work or tasks. A diligent, focused workflow is not taught.

The result is that most kids either don’t do their homework or do it at the very last minute, stressing out along the way. When I was a kid, I would procrastinate and put my homework off for as long as humanly possible. Then, at the very last minute, I’d quickly bang out some substandard work, just to get the assignments in on time.

This is what most kids did, with the exception of those who were naturally gifted with organized or motivated personalities at a very young age (a group which certainly didn’t include me as a child).

Kids take these crappy work habits into high school, then college, then into the workplace as adults. Then bosses and managers all over the land are furious when they get a bunch of employees who seem to lack  the ability to focus on their work until they get it all done in a quality manner. These employees were never taught how to do it.

Worse, no one ever complains about others’ poor work habits until they get well into the workplace and screw up. THEN they complain. The problem is, by then, it’s way too late. They’ve spent 20-25 years of their lives building up poor work habits. Something with that much history is hard to turn around.

This likely includes you. You probably didn’t receive any education or training as a child or young adult on how to focus on your work diligently until it was all done in a quality way. You should consider mastering this skill as the single most important goal to have in your work life.

It’s a great irony that the most important skill we must learn in life is the one we were never taught as children. As an adult, it’s up to YOU to take the time to master this skill, and make it an automatic habit.