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Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative Hardcover – October 13, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Most of us can relate to the title, Overworked and Overwhelmed. There are only 168 hours in a week, and it often feels like we work most of them. In fact, research shows that professionals with smartphones are directly dialed in to work around 72 hours a week, and that's not even counting the hours we spend thinking or worrying about work. It's true that hard work and success go hand in hand, but when does enough become too much? In this book, Scott Eblin makes the case that, if you aren't regularly taking a step back, you could actually be doing serious damage to your performance and productivity—not to mention your well-being.

Leaders and other high-capacity professionals face challenges and changes that require them to adapt on a near-constant basis while struggling to get everything done. Sure, high-performing professionals are the ones who are able to meet those challenges head on, but caving to every demand that's made of you isn't always the best strategy. Overworked and Overwhelmed shows why, and provides concrete activities and routines, from physical movement to personal reflection, that are designed to save your sanity while boosting your productivity.

If you feel like you're constantly outrunning burnout, resentment, and collapse, chances are you aren't performing up to your potential. In the short run, that might not be a big problem, but over the long term that missed potential could translate to missed career opportunities and burnout. Plus, if you're always scrambling to get things done, you may be missing the big-picture perspective. Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative draws on important research to help readers develop strategies to break out of the vicious cycle of overwork. Using the Life GPS® personal planning model, readers can establish easy routines to ensure that they are able to bring their best, every day.

Busy readers will appreciate the self-assessment and other tools to solidify takeaways from each chapter. Although mindfulness has a robust history in different traditions, Overworked and Overwhelmed is one of the first books to bring this body of knowledge into the business world. If you feel your time and attention are maxed out, but the demands don't stop coming, it could be time for a reality check.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Overworked and Overwhelmed "If I had to choose one skill that could simultaneously bring greater happiness in life and more meaningful engagement in work, it would be simple mindfulness. There's a way out of the overwhelming busyness of modern life—Scott Eblin has written the guidebook."
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human

"Conscious capitalism begins with consciousness in you. No matter how stressful your work is, Overworked and Overwhelmed will show you how to stay present so you can achieve your higher purpose."
—John Mackey, co-CEO and cofounder of Whole Foods Market, and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism

"If the title Overworked and Overwhelmed reminds you of someone you know, stop what you're doing and read this book. Scott Eblin demystifies mindfulness so that you can put it to work and create a better life."
—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

"With compelling stories, eye-opening research and simple but powerful routines, Scott Eblin shows you how mindfulness can help you get back in touch with who you really are and want to be at work, at home and in the community."
—Linda S. Simon, Senior Vice President, Leadership & Organizational Development, DIRECTV

"Scott Eblin's must-read book gives you the tools to balance life with work, satisfaction with success, and mindfulness with purpose. Based on years of critical research in leadership success, Overworked and Overwhelmed will fundamentally change how you live each day. Brilliant!"
—Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times bestseller What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"In a world where high velocity performance is the norm, a caffeine-driven, sleep-deprived, smart phone-addicted existence can seem to be an inevitable consequence. Scott Eblin teaches us that it need not be that way. With simple techniques and routines of mindfulness and self-management, he offers solutions that allow you to come back from the brink. If you want to reclaim yourself, this book is a must-read."
—Raghu Krishnamoorthy, Vice President, Executive Development and Chief Learning Officer, General Electric Corporation

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118910664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118910665
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Everyone I meet is always feeling "super busy". Overworked: check. Overwhelmed: you betcha. This is the new normal... but is it normal?

According to this book and a large body of emerging research, this existence in perpetual fight or flight mode actually has a hugely negative impact on our productivity, quality of life and health. This book will show you how to mindfully activate your rest and digest response to counteract that fight or flight response.

Reading this book can help leaders and all sorts of professionals realize that they’re not going to change anything by doing more of what they've been doing. Working more hours cannot possibly be the answer. I think this book will help you identify and try simple mindfulness routines that will make a big difference in your quality of life.

One of the things I love most about this book is that Scott describes four different mindfulness “killer apps” in each of four domains – physical, mental, relational and spiritual. The killer app of physical routines is movement. We have all heard that sitting is the new smoking. Scott says that just getting out of your chair every hour or so for a stretch or a quick walk can make a world of difference in your physical health and mental capacity. I have personally found this to be true. The killer app for mental routines is breathing. Scott says that three deep breaths from your belly can clear out the chatter in your head and help you focus. The killer app for relational routines is listening. Look for a few opportunities each day to have a conversation with someone where you have no other agenda than to listen to them. That's hard to do, but so worth it! Finally, the killer app of spiritual routines is reflection. A good place to start on that front is gratitude. Almost everyone has something in their life to be grateful for. I agree.
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Format: Hardcover
Oh the irony... Bad timing, Scott. There's simply no time to read this book! I'm overwhelmed with stuff I should be reading already!

But somehow, I made time. And it was definitely worth it.

Caution: This isn't another productivity-focused priority-management get-more-crap done faster book. This is about learning how to leverage your perspective, reassess your approach, and then circumnavigate the busyness and endless expectations of modern day real-time on-demand connectedness. That's the stuff that's killing us.

Somehow, Scott has found a way to strike the perfect balance between painting a picture of our semi-crazy work/business/family life pressures on the one hand, and the soft and squishy psychological solution stuff that will help us survive and thrive (mindfulness) on the other hand, all while being relevant and accessible.

One of the things I love most about this book is that it is REAL. Scott opens himself up and shares some very private aspects of his life, and is also real about the true costs and dead ends that being overworked and overwhelmed will lead to. I think he's trying to save us, and deep down I believe we're all looking for permission to break out of our endless to-do lists and do-more lists in our heads, and enjoy life and focus on what matters.

Most importantly, the topics and tips in this book are rock solid. There's ample research that sets the foundation for what he shares.
Basically, mindfulness, breathing, rest, goal orientation, healthy routines, etc., just plain ol' work.

So thanks for writing this Scott! But your timing is awful. Awfully perfect.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you are overworked and overwhelmed or just want to make your contribution to work, home, or community more meaningful, this book is for you.It does NOT preach that you must mediate, practice yoga, and drastically change your behaviors to become mindful (though if you want to do these things, Scott does have some valuable tips). It does however, provide practical guidance for people who want to be more present in their lives and truly make a difference. It has the perfect balance of personal experience, interviews, and research to make the ideas valuable for all of us. I read it at the perfect time in my career and it’s already made a difference in my life! I hope it makes one in yours!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nothing really new here - some good data on mindfulness but it seems that the author is trying to sell his system. I had trouble finishing this book.

Again, the information is probably pretty solid - it was just not very interesting and I had difficulty figuring out how to apply it to my life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My boss assigned this book as homework. Initially thought it would be a miss-match for my rung in the org ladder. One chapter in i understood why he had me read. Very well written and refreshing to learn something new.

Pros:
- Range of anecdotes and examples...you can relate to at least a few of them if you live in a high stress career.
- LOVE the concept that work and life don't have to perfectly balance. What works for me, doesn't need to work for you. Seems simple, but far too many books paint a picture of having to sacrifice job for family.

Cons:
- Like any business book...a few really solid chapters with new concepts, rest was repetitive. Could have been a shorter book!
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