Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
8
2
Rate this:
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 the author, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In this book the author, 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" in which we are in frantic life management mode until we are sound asleep? She 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?" This book is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Here the author 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. This is the story of what she found out. -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781443410182
1443410187
9780374228446
0374228442
9781429945875
Branch Call Number: 331.44 Sc
Characteristics: 353 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

How can working parents reclaim their "humanity" when so many things demand their time and attention?


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

j
JohannsHenchmen
Sep 21, 2015

I discovered this book on the "Featured" shelf at my local library. I was intrigued by the title and the quotes of praise for it at the front of the book. As a father of two, I was interested to see what the newest research was on how to tame the crazy world most Americans live in now and how to find peace & relaxation on your own terms. The first several chapters are a fascinating look at the statistics and personal responses of women & men living the overwhelmed life - including the author. Many studies and researchers are quoted and the data is staggering about the pressures on young families. One chapter though details how the Danes have created a calmer national culture based on limited work hours, exercise, being out in nature and staying in touch with friends & family. Parts of this lifestyle could be applied here to help us Americans I think. The book loses some momentum around the halfway point for a bit, but picks up again with several chapters of suggestions from researchers & the author on how to see what is overwhelming the reader and ways to start to change for a less pressure-filled life. The last chapter is a quick 8 page appendix called "Do One Thing" that collects the findings of the book into one easy to read area.

g
GummiGirl
Aug 25, 2014

A summary of the reasons American mothers are overworked, and to a lesser degree, how fathers would also benefit from more flexible schedules. The author gives some useful suggestions for coping on a personal level, but it's depressing that no larger societal changes seem to be possible.

s
sandraperkins
Aug 23, 2014

This book was disappointing. The author describes in detail all of the things that make us stressed, so just reading the book is stressful! She also focuses on parents of small children (like herself), apparently not realizing that others also lead busy and stressful lives. There was too much documentation of busyness and not enough focus on how to get out of this mind set. I was hoping to hear about possible solutions, but did not find much I did not already know.

etillery Jun 03, 2014

So, I read this book because it was recommended for my women's group, and I can't exactly relate. Basically, the gist of this book is that women need to just focus on what they can realistically do, reject society's expectations, and have egalitarian partners at the home to free women from doing work AND child rearing all by themselves. I do agree with some parts of this book, how it'd be great if businesses were more child friendly, if partners in relationships wouldn't just shove child rearing responsibilities over on the women and just do their own thing, but at the same time, personal responsibility comes into play. One should know that their job was demanding before one has children. Until work culture changes, I don't know if one can even whine about how not child friendly their employer is. If it wasn't before children, what lead you to believe that'd magically change? I don't believe in discriminating against women who bear children and want leave, but you should know your culture. Also, your mate not helping you clean. Don't wait until it gets so bad where you're overwhelmed and can't take it. Put your darn foot down and tell them you need help. Grow a back bone. If they won't help, that kinda just shows what kind of person he or she is, but ultimately, you picked that person. Unless your children are legit handicapped, please stop enabling them by trying to do everything. Teach some darn self sufficiency. The teaching's in this book aren't rocket science or ground breaking, but for those who are for some strange reason trapped in a cycle of being on 10 everyday, it can be helpful. One take away from this book, is that I'll probably keep a time, or brain dump diary with me, and also this book kinda puts traditional gender roles in a bad light, as if people who choose to do those things are somehow backward. Just like in the book how she mentions to cut it with the mommy wars, perhaps she should bash people who live different lifestyles beyond the ones she believes women are suppose to have.

ksoles May 23, 2014

Time never changes. A week will always contain 168 hours. So the burning question lingers: in the face of never-ending responsibilities and constant access to information technology, how can we effectively manage our time without feeling swamped? Through meticulous and thoughtful research, Brigid Schulte reveals the areas in which humans waste the most time and offers concrete advice on how to reclaim lost moments.

"Overwhelmed" asserts that the notion of the "ideal worker" (a man who can devote hours to the task at hand) still dominates the workplace, discounting the millions of women trying to juggle a career and family life. Women constantly multitask and become fragmented and exhausted as a result. Thus, Schulte advocates for a system that would provide flexible hours, paid mat/pat leave and consideration of leisure time.

Schulte looks to the Danes for inspiration as they boast one of the best ratios of work-to-vacation time in the world. Supported by numerous examples, Schulte’s time-management ideas erase ambivalence and empower readers to enjoy moments rather than a madly dashing from one task to the next. Reading this eye-opening analysis certainly proves an effective use of time.

mawls May 12, 2014

The research in this book is thorough and the anecdotes are funny and relatable even for someone who doesn't have kids. It definitely highlights how feeling overwhelmed is all about how you think about the time you have and what a difference your mindset can make. If you're someone who feels energized by a never ending list of things to do, this probably isn't for you. There's a lot of good insight and an appendix of suggestions of little steps to take to not feel so overwhelmed..

a
axeman
May 07, 2014

Overwhelmed? Who couldn't use this book? Well researched and well put together. Highly recommended.

b
booksmaht
Mar 20, 2014

"I think all of the strategies for us to cram more stuff into our calendar is really not the answer; it's figuring out what's important to you and making time to do what's most important first. ... That to-do list will never go away. If you have this if-then mentality, you'll never get to "then." I have trashed the to-do list to help my brain. I do get it all out. I write it all down because then it gives me mental peace ... but right now I try to do one thing a day and if I can do it, that's great. ... And I also give myself permission not to do it."

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/11/289018821/for-working-moms-key-to-balance-may-lie-in-elusive-leisure-time

Quotes

Add a Quote

mawls May 12, 2014

What often matters more than the activity we're doing at a moment in time is how we feel about it.

b
booksmaht
Mar 20, 2014

"I think all of the strategies for us to cram more stuff into our calendar is really not the answer; it's figuring out what's important to you and making time to do what's most important first. ... That to-do list will never go away. If you have this if-then mentality, you'll never get to "then." I have trashed the to-do list to help my brain. I do get it all out. I write it all down because then it gives me mental peace ... but right now I try to do one thing a day and if I can do it, that's great. ... And I also give myself permission not to do it." http://www.npr.org/2014/03/11/289018821/for-working-moms-key-to-balance-may-lie-in-elusive-leisure-time

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


  Loading...

Find it at CRRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top