When award-winning journalist Brigid Schulte, a harried mother of two, realized she was living a life of all work and no play, she decided to find out why she felt so overwhelmed. This book is the story of what she discovered—and of how her search for answers became a journey toward a life of less stress and more leisure. “[Schulte’s] a detective in a murder mystery: Who killed America’s leisure time, and how do we get it back?” —Lev Grossman, Time
"[Schulte's] a detective in a murder mystery: Who killed America's leisure time, and how do we get it back?"—Lev Grossman, Time
When award-winning journalist Brigid Schulte, a harried mother of two, realized she was living a life of all work and no play, she decided to find out why she felt so overwhelmed. This book is the story of what she discovered—and of how her search for answers became a journey toward a life of less stress and more leisure.
Schulte's findings are illuminating, puzzling, and, at times, maddening: Being overwhelmed is even affecting the size of our brains. But she also encounters signs of real progress—evidence that what the ancient Greeks called "the good life" is attainable after all. Schulte talks to companies who are inventing a new kind of workplace; travels to countries where policies support office cultures that don't equate shorter hours with laziness (and where people actually get more done); meets couples who have figured out how to share responsibilities. Enlivened by personal anecdotes, humor, and hope, Overwhelmed is a book about modern life—a revelation of the misguided beliefs and real stresses that have made leisure feel like a thing of the past, and of how we can find time for it in the present.
“Every parent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter
“[Schulte's] a detective in a murder mystery: Who killed America's leisure time, and how do we get it back?” —Lev Grossman, Time
“[Schulte] not only captures the conundrum so many people face, but also offers some practical solutions. . . . I found many of the anecdotes and stories personally instructive.” —Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times
“Incredibly well-researched . . . [Overwhelmed] tackles something we all feel every day.” —Goop
“Schulte can report with the best of them and is honest and insightful. She perfectly captures the experience of the worried mother/professional in twenty-first-century America, while weaving in contemporary scientific research on time management and stress.” —GQ
“Overwhelmed is a superb report from the front lines of the sputtering gender revolution. Brigid Schulte takes up the perennial problem of women's ‘second shift' with fresh energy and fascinating new data, effortlessly blending academic findings and mothers' lived experiences, including her own often hilarious attempts to be both the perfect parent and a successful full-time journalist. Before you embark on parenthood, before you volunteer to make cupcakes for a school party or stay up late to finish a fourth grader's science project--and definitely before you pick up another copy of Martha Stewart Living--read this book!” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On(Not) Getting By in America
“Reflecting on her meticulous research, searching her feelings, and renegotiating the division of emotional labor with her husband, Tom, Brigid Schulte offers us a well-written and timely book, both witty and wise.” —Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home
“Beautifully written, with searing facts, engaging stories, illuminating history, and wry personal observations. A must-read by a truly perceptive author!” —John de Graaf, editor of Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America
“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. Her voice is delightful, her findings surprising and hopeful. Overwhelmed is a passionate, funny, very human book that reads like a detective story.” —William Powers, author of Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
“Overwhelmed is a time management book that's not just about how to be more productive and effective--it's about the broad and fascinating role time plays in our emotional satisfaction, our physical health, and even our notions of gender equality. The more overwhelmed you feel, the more crucial it is to take the time to read this important book.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
“Everyparent, every caregiver, every person who feels besieged by permanent busyness, must read this book. A new wave of research, experience, and insight is challenging deep assumptions about why we have to live and work the way we do. Overwhelmed is a wake-up call and an exhilarating prescription for change.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"