The weekend effect The life-changing benefits of taking time off and challenging the cult of overwork

Katrina Onstad

Book - 2017

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Subjects
Published
New York : HarperOne [2017]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
291 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-291).
ISBN
9780062440181
0062440187
Main Author
Katrina Onstad (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

The premise of both of these books is that overworking and being on call 24/7 is wreaking havoc with health, personal relationships, and productivity.In Pause, transformation coach O'Meara offers the behavioral tool of "pausing"—taking a break and making an intentional shift to listen and align action with inner voice. A pause can be as simple as taking a five-minute walk outside or unplugging from digital devices for a day. O'Meara discusses the art of "mental flossing"—cleaning out mistaken beliefs—as well as practicing mindfulness and meditation throughout the day.In The Weekend Effect, award-winning journalist and author Onstad (Everybody Has Everything) proposes using weekends to slow down and step out of the rush of modern life. She provides history about the concept of "weekend" and updates readers on what some successful companies are now doing to help or hinder their employees' enjoyment of free time. Onstad details the many ways in which work such as caregiving, housecleaning, and entertaining may be integrated into "off time." VERDICT O'Meara delivers practical, bite-sized suggestions for embracing mental vacations throughout the day, while Onstad elaborates upon the problems encountered in taking a period of time off. Both volumes are recommended for reducing stress and improving well-being. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Journalist and novelist Onstad (Everybody Has Everything) makes a compelling but flawed case for the need for leisure. The book begins with a bit of history, explaining the differences between contemporary and pre–industrial revolution conceptions of leisure. Onstad's tone is hopeful as she details the benefits of longer weekends for both work and workers. The book explores how companies such as Basecamp and Amazon are attempting to implement shorter work weeks and encourage employees to disconnect on weekends. The section that details good ways to fill in leisure time—including art, nature, and volunteering—is encouraging, but the book doesn't adequately address the role of class. Early on, Onstad reveals that white-collar workers work more than their blue-collar counterparts, a "leisure gap" that shouldn't be "trivialized" according to the writer. Though it's fair to say that weekends and leisure are a "cross-class" issue, the book never addresses whether less work for people who make less money and have unstable hours actually translates into more leisure. A passage on the importance of work/life balance to the social fabric is powerful, but too brief. The need for leisure is a worthwhile subject, but Onstad's book, while a good start, is ultimately a superficial survey of the issue. (May) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An award-winning journalist discusses the history of the weekend and how it is disintegrating in a 24/7 work world and describes how not carving out time to relax and recharge is harming our overall mental and physical health. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Encroaching work demands—coupled with domestic chores, overbooked schedules, and the incessant pinging of our devices—have taken a toll on what used to be our free time: the weekend. With no space to tune out and recharge, every aspect of our lives is suffering: our health is deteriorating, our social networks (the face-to-face kind) are dissolving, and our productivity is down. The notion of working less and living more, once considered an American virtue, has given way to the belief that you must be “on” 24/7.Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad, pushes back against this all-work, no-fun ethos. Tired of suffering from Sunday night letdown, she digs into the history, positive psychology, and cultural anthropology of the great missing weekend and how we can revive it. Onstad follows the trail of people, companies, and countries who are vigilantly protecting their time off for joy, adventure, and most important, purpose. Filled with personal and professional inspiration, The Weekend Effect is a thoughtful, well-researched argument to take back those precious 48 hours, and ultimately, to save ourselves. 

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Encroaching work demands'coupled with domestic chores, overbooked schedules, and the incessant pinging of our devices'have taken a toll on what used to be our free time: the weekend. With no space to tune out and recharge, every aspect of our lives is suffering: our health is deteriorating, our social networks (the face-to-face kind) are dissolving, and our productivity is down. The notion of working less and living more, once considered an American virtue, has given way to the belief that you must be 'on' 24/7.Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad, pushes back against this all-work, no-fun ethos. Tired of suffering from Sunday night letdown, she digs into the history, positive psychology, and cultural anthropology of the great missing weekend and how we can revive it. Onstad follows the trail of people, companies, and countries who are vigilantly protecting their time off for joy, adventure, and most important, purpose. Filled with personal and professional inspiration, The Weekend Effect is a thoughtful, well-researched argument to take back those precious 48 hours, and ultimately, to save ourselves.