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Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time [Paperback]

Brigid Schulte
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Mar 2014

In her attempts to juggle work and family life, Brigid Schulte has baked cakes until 2 a.m., frantically (but surreptitiously) sent important emails during school trips and then worked long into the night after her children were in bed. Realising she had become someone who constantly burst in late, trailing shoes and schoolbooks and biscuit crumbs, she began to question, like so many of us, whether it is possible to be anything you want to be, have a family and still have time to breathe.

So when Schulte met an eminent sociologist who studies time and he told her she enjoyed thirty hours of leisure each week, she thought her head was going to pop off.

What followed was a trip down the rabbit hole of busy-ness, a journey to discover why so many of us ?nd it near-impossible to press the 'pause' button on life and what got us here in the ?rst place.

Overwhelmed maps the individual, historical, biological and societal stresses that have ripped working mothers' and fathers' leisure to shreds, and asks how it might be possible for us to put the pieces back together.

Seeking insights, answers and inspiration, Schulte explores everything from the wiring of the brain and why workplaces are becoming increasingly demanding, to worldwide differences in family policy, how cultural norms shape our experiences at work, our unequal division of labour at home and why it's so hard for everyone - but women especially - to feel they deserve an elusive moment of peace.

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Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time + Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life + Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (13 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408826682
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408826683
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brigid Schulte is an award-winning journalist for the Washington Post and Washington Post magazine. She was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. She is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two children. She grew up in Oregon, has family in Ireland and spent summers in Wyoming, where she did not feel overwhelmed.

Product Description


Every parent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book (Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of Why Women Still Can't Have It All)

Why is life so insanely busy? What happened to "leisure" time? Tired of the modern hamster wheel, Brigid Schulte set out to find a better way to live. Overwhelmed is a passionate, funny, very human book (William Powers, author of Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age)

Features the author's personal search for balance alongside her advice for busy women (Red)

Startling ... May well do for time-poor workers that Lean In has done for guilt-ridden working mums (Evening Standard)

The very real and sometimes moving book is a masterly combination of social observation, interview, statistics and riveting human stories. Schulte's honesty is appealing (Irish Daily Mail)

Thought-provoking ... Brigid Schulte takes to takes our headlong descent into multi-tasking madness (Daily Telegraph)

She says we turn leisure into work, thinking we are lazy if we're not 'doing something'. I couldn't agree more (Janet Street-Porter, Daily Mail)

Engaging . by turns a pop science explainer, self-help guide and subtle feminist polemic - aims to discover why some of us feel there simply aren't enough hours in the day ... This book's strength is mixing research and anecdote in a lively, accessible way, with a reporter's eye for detail (Guardian)

In one of the best sections of the book, Ms. Schulte interviews Pat Buchanan, the man who more than anyone else destroyed the prospect of a high-quality universal child care system in the United States (New York Times)

Brigid Schulte writes directly of her own cubicle experience, and it is not pretty (Financial Times)

Too much to do? Stop and read this (Guardian)

For a fresh take on an eternal dilemma, Overwhelmed is worth a few hours of any busy woman's life - if only to ensure that she doesn't drop off the bottom of her own "To Do" list ***** (Mail on Sunday)

Not only captures the conundrum so many people face but also offers some practical solutions. It's not a self-help book per se, but I found many of the anecdotes and stories personally instructive (Andrew Ross Sorkin, International New York Times)

Book Description

Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses - individual, historical, biological and societal - that have ripped working mothers' leisure to shreds, and a quest for how it might be possible for them to put the pieces back together

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 50 REVIEWER
‘Overwhelmed’ written by Brigid Schulte is an interesting work backed by extensive research on the subject of how much fast pace and stress that we are constantly exposed leaves us time to rest and if is out there today something at all that we can call leisure.

Can we even define our spare time? Is it when we do not do anything, spending time in leisure and solicitation, or the time that we spend to feel better, to do something that makes us happy, what not one pushes us to do? According to the nice quote from someone at the University of Iowa, true leisure is “…that place in which we realize our humanity” and judging by all there are less and less such time, or already it vanished for most of us.

Brigid Schulte, The Washington Post journalist and part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize, from 2010 conducted an extensive research and spoke with numerous scientists, sociologists, and especially working parents to investigate what are the factors that contribute to our feeling being constantly overwhelmed, having no time for anyone, most important ourselves.

On the pages of the book Brigid Schulte compares a view on workplace and family subjects from the American angle by comparing it to how these issues are dealt with in Europe and in other parts of the world. She speaks about progressive offices that are seeking to invent some new ways of working, all with the goal to enable people with children to still feel like human beings, not like machines which have planned every minute of life caring only for others and working.

‘Overwhelmed’ is extremely easy and interesting to read, while every reader in a greater or lesser part will be able to identify with what the author has put forward in her work, making her book extremely valuable in the field she covers.

As a convenient add-on author did not hesitate to share her own experiences and that all together makes her book a good choice if you are interested in this topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Brilliantly researched and written - a perfect balance of stats and stories. It will make you re-evaluate what's important. Read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book 16 Aug 2014
By Liana
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The only negative about this book had a major American bias. There are a lot of books on a similar or same subject matter but this book is well researched, has lots of the aurthor's own examples which brought the subject to life. I would recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring 22 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this at a pivotal moment and couldn't absorb it fast enough; would recommend to anyone feeling time poor and in need of some new thinking
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful, well written and gripping. Couldnt put it down.
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