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

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

Scritto da Brigid Schulte

Narrato da Tavia Gilbert


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

Scritto da Brigid Schulte

Narrato da Tavia Gilbert

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (11 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
12 ore
Pubblicato:
May 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781491530559
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Disponibile anche come...

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Descrizione

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.

Pubblicato:
May 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781491530559
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

LibroSnapshot


Informazioni sull'autore

Brigid Schulte is an award-winning journalist for the Washington Post. She is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. In her career, she has written about, among other subjects, politics, culture, the military, science, the environment, work-life issues and poverty. She was part of the team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, Tom Bowman, military affairs correspondent for National Public Radio, and their two children, Liam and Tessa. @BrigidSchulte

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Cosa pensano gli utenti di Overwhelmed

3.4
11 valutazioni / 11 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book and found it eye opening and applicable to my life. I think it has some blind spots about socio-economic class and work/play, but overall I found it very satisfying, and maybe even life changing. Well-researched and well written.
  • (3/5)
    professional development. work is not the top priority - need to make time for self
  • (5/5)
    This book was great. It not only covered the importance of each factor in life (work, love, play), but also how they're interconnected. It does you no good to read a book about how you should play more if you don't understand what about work is keeping you from playing in the first place. I would highly recommend, for men AND women.
  • (4/5)
    Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time is a well-researched treatise into the all too familiar phenomenon of being overwhelmed. Brigid Schulte even gives the sensation its own noun, the Overwhelm, and dives into why the average person today is stressed, constantly busy, and feels like the world is moving too fast to keep up. She divides the sections into four, beginning with Work, appropriately first, as the average American spends most of their time at work, even sacrificing vacation time to eke more time at the office. Love is a look at relationships - more on married/committed couples than dating, though I'd be interested in knowing how people find the time to do that anymore - and finally, the most overlooked, Play. What do we do when we have leisure time? The fourth is a brief overview, including how to fight back against the Overwhelm in all three areas.

    I think everyone has, at least at times, felt exactly what Schulte describes, but this book was pleasantly surprising. I was expecting more of the fourth section, another to-do list of how to get on top of things and stop feeling so stressed. Instead, the bulk of the book is spent delineating exactly how and why we got to this point, from people using how busy they are as a social marker to the cult of the "ideal worker", who never leaves the office, is always on call, and sacrifices every bit of a social life to put in face-time at the office.

    She also points out some interesting phenomenon that, while familiar, I always had a hard time putting my finger on, including what she calls "time confetti" - having a few minutes here and there, rather than an uninterrupted stretch of leisure time. Or "time contamination", when we may be relaxing, but our mind is already five steps ahead, mentally making another to-do list and fretting over the here and now.

    More than just pointing it out how we got here, however, she shows why it needs to stop. The ideal worker is not so ideal - studies have repeatedly shown that workers need breaks, otherwise they're not productive and lose creativity. Partners in relationships report feeling happier when they share the household and childcare work equally. Not playing actually causes our frontal cortex to shrink, and our amygdala, the fear center, to enlarge. These things are vital, and yet we all find ourselves thinking, "As soon as I get this done, then I'll relax."

    As a rule, this book focuses more on mothers and families. We constantly hear parents telling people, "You don't know busy until you've had kids," which is true to a certain extent, but I feel a vital part of the overwhelm phenomenon is that everyone is pushing more and more things onto their to-do list; if you don't have kids, you'll find something else to put on there. Maybe you'll work longer hours, or you'll commit yourself to an organization.

    The book also looks closely at the gender politics involved in the feeling. Women repeatedly feel more stressed than men, do more household chores, and have more "time confetti" and "time contamination" than men (though the gap is closing). While the focus may be on the gender divide, Schulte points out that this feeling is creeping up on everybody.

    Interspersed with personal anecdotes, Overwhelmed is a well-researched, informative, and eye-opening look at current time crunch culture and what it's doing to us and our futures.
  • (3/5)
    Nice setup and history to how we've become overwhelmed and rushed as well as the policies and procedures in the US that have contributed to the situation. My only critique is it doesn't give adequate attention to the way it has affected men as to compared to women. I wouldn't say it is misandrist but when you spend a whole chapter on women and barely give men a few pages there's a lack of attention. It was intriguing to read that in the 1970s we were leaning toward a universal child care system. Unfortunately, Pat Buchanan did enough damage to impact all future endeavors to helping out the very poor and working families in the area of medical leave and family policy.
  • (5/5)
    As someone who cares deeply about the time and money pressures on young families, I give this book my highest praise. I wish I had written it. Overwhelmed is meticulously researched and engagingly written. One of the strongest impressions that remains with me is the story of Barbara Brannen, a successful Denver executive with two kids. She became so stressed-out from working all the time that her health suffered dramatically, and she lost the use of her left arm. After that wake-up call and some surgery, Brannen began adding back simple pleasures like reading, playing the piano and kayaking. She realized that, as Schulte writes, "she'd fallen into doing all the things that her kids wanted or that her husband liked or that others expected of her - playdates, socializing, going to movies, or just waiting for vacation or holidays to come. She did enjoy the time, 'but I wanted to feel my heart sing'." I'm so grateful to Schulte for bringing these topics to the forefront for discussion. American moms are expected to do so much, and yet it's not healthy to put joy on hold for decades - not for moms nor for the children who are learning from their examples.
  • (4/5)
    I only skimmed most of this, because mostly it just emphasized a bunch of information I already know and am already mad about: Americans, especially women, work way too much and our culture demands it of us and we have to totally rethink our culture. I was hoping there would be some really good concrete answers. The end of the book does provide several useful things you can do to stop feeling overwhelmed by it all, but the problem still boils down to this: our culture is broken.
  • (4/5)
    A thoughtful exploration of the feeling that nearly every middle class person in the developed world has of having too much to do and not enough time. My only complaint is that it focuses too much on the situation of women with paid jobs. Which will be great if you are such a women, less so if you are a man or a women who is not in the paid workforce.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable read, very relevant. Four stars because of the overabundance of lengthy anecdotes and interviews but otherwise a very good book.
  • (4/5)
    "Overwhelmed" is a great title for this book since it perfectly describes how many people feel every day. The author decided to research why exactly it is so difficult for Americans, especially American women, to do it all. Juggling work, children and personal lives leaves many of us stressed out and fatigued. There never seems to be enough time to fulfill all the demands of daily life. One of the main topics in this book is how we raise children and the lack of a functioning support system for parents. On top of this, women still shoulder most of the childcare demands. Somehow, American men and women still haven't figured out a way to equally share the chores of keeping a house and raising children. Other countries have done a better job at ensuring gender and social equality, while also providing a better safety net for their citizens. In fact, the author spent some time in Denmark in hopes of discovering how Danes manage to lead such balanced and contend lives, while sharing work and leisure time equally. Some of the Danish strategies can be applied to our own lives. The author also dabbles a bit in meditation and finds that this can help to calm her mind and bring some mindfulness to her daily life. I like that this book ended with an appendix of very concrete ideas on how to live a more balanced and therefore satisfying life.
  • (3/5)
    Hey, it’s another book about how lack of equality is terrible for men and women both, through the framing of time! Women experience more “contaminated time,” where we’re trying to do more than one thing at once and worrying about the next thing; uncontaminated time is a hallmark of successful, creative work, as well as of relaxation. Women in the US are working more hours at paid jobs while also increasing the amount of time we spend with our children, and men are spending more time with kids too while not doing any more housework, which contributes to women’s misery and stress. Work demands an “ideal worker” who has someone else doing his household management, and penalizes women especially for being mothers. Child care is generally crappy and/or expensive if it’s even available. Interpersonal conflicts between spouses/partners are really the result of the structures, as so often is the case. Schulte takes a detour into the argument that in the EEA, mothers relied heavily on alloparents, who were people performing parental roles who might be more or less closely related to the mother—we are adapted to take a village to raise children, and mothers therefore need not be tied to their young children 24/7. Rather than being wired to be “motherly,” women, like men, are wired to have sex, and then babies evolved to be really adorable so that we wouldn’t leave them out in the open when they yelled for five hours straight. Men, too, experience spikes in oxytocin and prolactin and decreases in testosterone when they nurture—sometimes even when they’re around a pregnant mate—and the question is, as with the good and evil angels on your shoulder, which one spends the most time doing the feeding/caretaking. If the mother specializes, which she need not do, then she learns skills the father doesn’t, and much else follows. Comparative advantage is not ingrained; it is created by life experiences, and it should not be, given its other consequences.Denmark is doing it right, though, through a mix of social policy and ideology: more than 80 percent of Danish mothers are employed, most full-time, and they have about as much pure leisure time as fathers do, and more than mothers and fathers in any other country studied. Danish quality of life is much higher on average, though it isn’t perfect (there’s a lot of binge drinking) and Denmark is smaller and more ethnically homogenous, making adopting its lessons here harder.The gender disparity is nothing new: Thorstein Veblen in 1899 wrote in his The Theory of the Leisure Class, “Manual labour, industry, whatever has to do directly with the everyday work of getting a livelihood, is the exclusive occupation of the inferior class. This inferior class includes slaves and other dependents, and ordinarily also all the women.” In the West, you could become a nun if you wanted time to yourself. Time isn’t just money; it’s power.