Everyone faces distractions at work. Very seldom do any of us ever enjoy the luxury of eight to nine solid hours to dedicate to focusing on priorities and projects without something coming up to draw our attention elsewhere.But what happens when you’re faced with a distraction that’s not quite so easy to deal with? What happens when it’s a more major crisis in your life, or even a series of significant distractions that all but sap any hope for concentration you might have?
Motherhood was something I yearned for and very much wanted. I read books on parenting and felt very prepared and a bit overconfident for my new role – until I officially became a mother. Suddenly, I was questioning myself on everything: cloth or disposable, cry it out or co-sleep, organic baby blender homemade creations or the jarred store bought variety, helicopter parent or tiger mom, and the list goes on and on. Not only was I indecisive but I was so consumed with love for this little person that I thought in order to be the best mother possible I should give up everything that defined me pre-baby and focus on this new all important role of raising a human being.
Are you familiar with the balance burden? I am referring to the burden and guilt trip we give ourselves each day over our attempt, and quite often failure, to balance all aspects (mom, caretaker, professional, student, friend etc.) of our lives. I spent my first year and a half of motherhood often riddled with guilt because I couldn’t seem to juggle it all. It wasn’t until the birth of my second daughter (18 months after my first) that I finally threw my hands up and admitted defeat. I was defeated, but not for long.
It has occurred to me that the notion that there is only one perfect way of doing things is a dangerous habit for an HR professional. In practical terms, it isn’t possible in most cases, and also it promotes a level of uniformity about things that may result in stymied creativity. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive for some level of polish, but it does mean we should have a meaningful discussion about the cost of the pressure of uniformity.