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Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time Hardcover – March 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; 1 edition (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374228442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374228446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Journalist Schulte manages to take a fairly pedestrian topic, the value of leisure in modern American society, and turn it into a compelling narrative on work, play, and personal achievement. Liberally peppered with her own experiences as a wife, mother, and Washington Post reporter, this artful blend of memoir and cultural exploration asks hard questions about how to create a well-lived life. Is leisure a waste of time, or the only time to “live fully present”? Are we more concerned about a purpose-driven experience, or bogged down in “banal busyness”? Schulte, juggling the demands of children and work while facing conflicts with her spouse over familial responsibilities, realizes that she is mired in busyness. Her discussions with a wide range of experts clarify her concerns and open her mind to the manufactured madness of a competitive culture and the false promise of the ruthlessly dedicated “ideal worker.” Schulte follows every lead to uncover why Americans are so determined to exhaust themselves for work and what has been lost in the process. For Lean In (2013) fans, and everyone who feels overwhelmed. --Colleen Mondor

Review

"Schulte takes a purely practical and secular approach to a question that philosophers and spiritual teachers have debated for centuries--how to find meaningful work, connection, and joy--but her research is thorough and her conclusions fascinating, her personal narrative is charmingly honest, and the stakes are high: the "good life" pays off in 'sustainable living, healthy populations, happy families, good business, [and] sound economies.'" - Publisher's Weekly starred review


"Overwhelmed is a superb report from the front lines of the sputtering gender revolution. Brigid Schulte takes up the perennial problem of women's 'second shift' with fresh energy and fascinating new data, effortlessly blending academic findings and mothers' lived experiences, including her own often hilarious attempts to be both the perfect parent and a successful full-time journalist. ... read this book!"  - Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

"Overwhelmed is a time management book that's not just about how to be more productive and effective--it's about the broad and fascinating role time plays in our emotional satisfaction, our physical health, and even our notions of gender equality. The more overwhelmed you feel, the more crucial it is to take the time to read this important book." - Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

"Every parent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book. A new wave of research, experience, and insight is challenging deep assumptions about why we have to live and work the way we do. Overwhelmed is a wake-up call and an exhilarating prescription for change." - Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"


"Why is life so insanely busy? What happened to 'leisure' time? Tired of the modern hamster wheel, Brigid Schulte set out to find a better way to live. Her voice is delightful, her findings surprising and hopeful. Overwhelmed is a passionate, funny, very human book that reads like a detective story." - William Powers, author of Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

"Schulte takes a purely practical and secular approach to a question that philosophers and spiritual teachers have debated for centuries--how to find meaningful work, connection, and joy—but her research is thorough and her conclusions fascinating, her personal narrative is charmingly honest, and the stakes are high: the "good life" pays off in 'sustainable living, healthy populations, happy families, good business, [and] sound economies.'" —Publisher's Weekly starred review

 

Overwhelmed... brings a fresh perspective and needed insight into what's too often called the problem of the work-life balance.” —Elle

 

“An unexpectedly liberating investigation into the plague of busyness that afflicts us all.” —The Washington Post

 

“This artful blend of memoir and cultural exploration asks hard questions about how to create a well-lived life... For Lean In fans, and everyone who feels overwhelmed.” —Booklist

 

“An eye-opening analysis of today's hectic lifestyles coupled with valuable practical advice on how to make better use of each day.” —Kirkus

 

“Just reading the first chapter of Overwhelmed may be cathartic: as bad as it is... at least you're not the only one... Overwhelmed is Schulte's attempt to not merely survive but also unpack and analyze the quintessentially modern and increasingly universal experience of feeling utterly unable to cope. Putting her own crowded life (two children, thriving career) on the slab for dissection, Schulte tries to figure out how we got here and how we can get out of it.” —Time

 

Overwhelmed is a superb report from the front lines of the sputtering gender revolution. Brigid Schulte takes up the perennial problem of women’s ‘second shift’ with fresh energy and fascinating new data, effortlessly blending academic findings and mothers’ lived experiences, including her own often hilarious attempts to be both the perfect parent and a successful full-time journalist. Before you embark on parenthood, before you volunteer to make cupcakes for a school party or stay up late to finish a fourth grader’s science project—and definitely before you pick up another copy of Martha Stewart Living—read this book!” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On(Not) Getting By in America

 

“Reflecting on her meticulous research, searching her feelings, and renegotiating the division of emotional labor with her husband, Tom, Brigid Schulte offers us a well-written and timely book, both witty and wise.” —Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home

 

“Beautifully written, with searing facts, engaging stories, illuminating history, and wry personal observations. A must-read by a truly perceptive author!” —John de Graaf, editor of Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America

“Why is life so insanely busy? What happened to ‘leisure’ time? Tired of the modern hamster wheel, Brigid Schulte set out to find a better way to live. Her voice is delightful, her findings surprising and hopeful. Overwhelmed is a passionate, funny, very human book that reads like a detective story.” —William Powers, author of Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

 

“Overwhelmed is a time management book that’s not just about how to be more productive and effective—it’s about the broad and fascinating role time plays in our emotional satisfaction, our physical health, and even our notions of gender equality. The more overwhelmed you feel, the more crucial it is to take the time to read this important book.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

“Every parent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book. A new wave of research, experience, and insight is challenging deep assumptions about why we have to live and work the way we do. Overwhelmed is a wake-up call and an exhilarating prescription for change.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”


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More About the Author

Brigid Schulte is an award-winning journalist for the Washington Post and Washington Post magazine. She was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. She is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two children. She grew up in Oregon and spent summers in Wyoming, where she did not feel overwhelmed. More info and resources on Overwhelm and Bright Spots at brigidschulte.com

Customer Reviews

Good book, easy to read.
R. Berg
It's a book that can change how you think, and how you live.
B. Janet Hibbs
This book was well researched, well written.
Renee Dupont

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Laurie C Kelley on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Like no book out there, Overwhelmed gives us deep insight into the ways in which our lives have become so complicated in today's fast-paced society. Heavily researched, the author also looks at workplace and family dynamics in other parts of the world, in contrast to our American practices. The book will make you think more deeply about the way you are spending the precious gift of time, especially if you are a parent, and even if you aren't. Additionally, people who are not caregivers will get a deeper understanding of the demands of balancing family needs with our careers. It'll make you think, laugh, reflect and hopefully move forward with more purpose in working through this one and only life. I loved it. So much I even found/made time to read the entire book.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jessica DeGroot on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who has been involved in these issues professionally and personally for the last 20 years, I can honestly say this is the best book I have read on the topic. Not only does it provide cutting edge reporting, Brigid Schulte’s willingness to share her own experiences wrestling with these issues, also makes it a real page turner.
Throughout the book she provides an excellent analysis of what contributes to our sense of overwhelm and how badly it is impacting us. However, she also inspires us with a number of important “bright spots” – including the description of a number of truly modern workplaces that aren’t just saying they support their employees to live whole lives, they are actually making it happen.
Too often people feel stuck by the web of forces that make a more satisfying approach to work and life feel out of reach. Schulte’s book will help you better understand the challenges and inspire you that change is possible.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Bender on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Even with massive amount of research presented Mrs. Schulte personalizes the information in a way that makes this a compelling read. I had so many ah-ha moments while I read this starting with the idea of contaminated time. It was also incredibly helpful to read about how we look at the leisure needs of men and women. There's just to many tidbits to share but you definitely walk away from the book feeling the need to free up personal time. Her arguments are incredibly effective.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Anne D. Perryman on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In my role as editor of the Work & Family Life newsletter, I jumped at the chance to read Brigid Shulte's new book Overwhelmed. It is fascinating. Schulte (a Washington Post reporter) examines what has changed and what has stayed the same since the 1970’s. Women are fully engaged in what used to be a "man’s world," but workplace policies and cultural attitudes still act as though it is 1950. Shulte explores why we’re “stuck” in this way and why our sense of being overwhelmed has persisted. This was never just a “mommy issue,” she says. It's also an issue for dads, kids, the workplace and for society, especially one that purports to value families so highly. I liked Schulte's positive, practical suggestions on how to incorporate into my life all of the things I need and want to do. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sinohey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The impetus of this book is the “frenetic family”, a couple raising young children while both spouses work outside the home; trying to juggle jobs, child rearing, house chores, social commitments, intimate time and leisure. But is is much more. It is a treatise about our culture. A “Quo Vadis” to our society ?

Brigid Schulte, a Pulitzer prize winner staff writer for The Washington Post, investigates why “busyness” has become so pervasive in our lives; when “I am busier than thou” is the lauded ethos. Words like “constantly on the run”, crazy”, “way too fast”, “can’t find the time”, “hectic” and multitasking” have become commonplace in conversation. But more of the burden seems to fall on women who try to “have it all”, a career while being a homemaker, a wife and a mother; over 70 percent of American mothers work. Schulte asks, “What if not just women, but both men and women, worked smart, more flexible schedules? What if the workplace itself was more fluid than the rigid and narrow ladder to success of the ideal worker? And what if both men and women became responsible for raising children and managing the home, sharing work, love, and play? Could everyone then live whole lives?”
In her quest, Schulte called on anthropologists, managers, neuroscientists, time analysts and sociologists. She interviewed hundreds of working parents and travelled to European countries to get answers.
In America, the best worker is the one able to multitask and works faster and longer; the most successful, smartest and competent employee has the most facetime, is first to show up and the last to leave, “Those without a lot of personal commitments.” Often the result is paucity of leisure time, even burnout and acedia (a state of restlessness and inability to work or concentrate).
Read more ›
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Michele T. Woodward on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book and I have to say - having read it cover to cover - that Brigid Schulte breaks open the modern conundrum that is parenting. If you are not a working parent, this book may not be as relevant to you. But for me, Schulte examined the challenges thoroughly, and brought in relevant research in a way that enlightened me and made me feel like "it's not just me who's having this problem." I admire the way she draws from her own life to illustrate situations, and also seeks out others and tells their stories. Again, if you are a working parent who's looking for a path out of overwhelm - or you are a law maker or business leader who's trying to remedy the situation - this is an excellent place to start. Read the book.
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