Overwhelmed Work, love, and play when no one has the time

Brigid Schulte, 1962-

Book - 2014

"This book asks whether working mothers in America -- or anywhere -- can ever find true leisure time. Or are our brains, our partners, our culture, our bosses, making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contained time," in which we are in frantic life management mode until we are sound asleep?"--

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

306.8743/Schulte
2 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 306.8743/Schulte Checked In
2nd Floor 306.8743/Schulte Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014.
©2014
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
353 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-332) and index.
ISBN
9780374228446
0374228442
Main Author
Brigid Schulte, 1962- (author)
  • Time confetti. The test of time ; Leisure is for nuns ; Too busy to live ; The incredible shrinking brain
  • Work. The ideal worker is not your mother ; A tale of two Pats ; Bright spot : starting small ; When work works ; Bright spot : if the Pentagon can do it, why can't you?
  • Love. The stalled gender revolution ; The cult of intensive motherhood ; Bright spot : Mother Nature ; New dads ; Bright spot : gritty, happy kids
  • Play. Hygge in Denmark ; Let us play ; Bright spot : really plan a vacation
  • Toward time serenity. Finding time ; Bright spot : time horizons ; Toward time serenity
  • Appendix. Do one thing.
Review by Booklist Reviews

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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

Journalist Schulte's assessment of contemporary work and family life is both entertaining and wide-ranging, moving from the negative effects of chronic stress on brain function to changing norms for the ideal worker, to public policy for child care and family leave. Her recommendations for creating healthier ways to have it all (work, love, and leisure) are similar, spanning visionary efforts to reshape corporate culture to encourage greater autonomy and flexibility; personal efforts of couples to "un-stall" the gender revolution; reframing motherhood to be less driven by perfectionism and fear; celebrating involved fatherhood and unstructured time for children; giving one's self permission to not try to do it all; and public policies that support healthier rhythms of work and family life. Schulte synthesized an enormous amount of scholarship in these pages, although for academic audiences it may move too quickly and be insufficiently attentive to divergent experiences across race and social class (many examples relate to the frantic lives of privileged professionals). Nevertheless, the book is a delightfully readable and timely challenge to workers, lovers, and those who would like to play a little more. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General, public, and professional collections. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Professionals/Practitioners. S. K. Gallagher Oregon State University Copyright 2014 American Library Association.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

On her quest to turn her "time confetti" into "time serenity," journalist Schulte finds that, while it's worse for women and hits working mothers the hardest, what she calls the "Overwhelm" cuts across gender, income, and nationality to contaminate time, shrink brains, impair productivity, and reduce happiness. Investigating the "great speed-up" of modern life, Schulte surveys the "time cages" of the American workplace, the "stalled gender revolution" in the home, and the documented necessity for play, and discovers that the "aimless whirl" of American life runs on a conspiracy of "invisible forces": outdated notions of the Ideal Worker; the cult of motherhood; antiquated national family policies; and the "high status of busyness." The result is our communal "time sickness." 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, sound economies." While the final insights stretch thin, Schulte unearths the attitudes and "powerful cultural expectations" responsible for our hectic lives, documents European alternatives to the work/family balance, and handily summarizes her solutions in an appendix. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Drawing on interviews with neuroscientists, sociologists, and working parents, explores the factors contributing to the collective sense of being overwhelmed and seeks insights, answers, and inspiration for achieving the perfect work-life balance.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Drawing on interviews with neuroscientists, sociologists and working parents, an award-winning journalist explores the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed and seeks insights, answers and inspiration for achieving the perfect work-life balance. 40,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"This book asks whether working mothers in America -- or anywhere -- can ever find true leisure time. Or are our brains, our partners, our culture, our bosses, making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contained time," in which we are in frantic life management mode until we are sound asleep?"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"Can working parents in America--or anywhere--ever find true leisure time? According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is "that place in which we realize our humanity." If that's true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contaminatedtime"? Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine: "How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure--over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research--anything we could do?" Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out"--

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Can working parents in America—or anywhere—ever find true leisure time?According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is "that place in which we realize our humanity." If that's true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contaminated time"? Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine: "How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure—over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research—anything we could do?"Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out.