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Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time Paperback – March 3, 2015
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Every parent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book.” ―Anne-Marie Slaughter
“[Schulte's] a detective in a murder mystery: Who killed America's leisure time, and how do we get it back?” ―Lev Grossman, Time
“[Schulte] not only captures the conundrum so many people face, but also offers some practical solutions. . . . I found many of the anecdotes and stories personally instructive.” ―Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times
“Incredibly well-researched . . . [Overwhelmed] tackles something we all feel every day.” ―Goop
“Schulte can report with the best of them and is honest and insightful. She perfectly captures the experience of the worried mother/professional in twenty-first-century America, while weaving in contemporary scientific research on time management and stress.” ―GQ
“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
“Everyparent, 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"
Top customer reviews
National childcare is an idea that spooks some people despite the fact that models exist and work well in places like Denmark and can both ease the burden of all parents while providing needed socialization and stimulation to children. Attempting to care for children when both parents work is one of the primary reasons for people feeling overwhelmed. Smartphones that keep people tethered to their jobs even when they aren’t at work is another.
Schulte offers tips to those who are hard pressed for time or feel compelled to cross every item off their to-do list before they allow themselves to relax. She also expresses concern for how the sheltering of children and overexposure to technology and underexposure to the outdoors will lead to negative societal outcomes down the road.
There are no clear answers to these problems, but it’s time we begin solving the long overdue question of why we work so hard yet never seem to get to any place of peace in our lives.
While the opening chapters are pretty grim, they are an effective shake-up of those beliefs about work and parenthood that we aren't even aware of having. This book really made me evaluate where the beliefs come from that keep me running flat out from task to task. I have actually changed parts of my life between starting this book and finishing it - and I'm a lot happier for it.