A Preview of Overwhelmed with Brigid Schulte
A summary of things you should know about Overwhelmed according to Brigid Schulte:
In this episode Brigid Schulte shares her insights on her book, Overwhelmed, where she the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration.
In her book Schulte shares the story of what she found while traveling across Europe to understand how countries accommodate working parents while investigating companies that are trying to invent a new kind of workplace. The goal of the book is to provide you with practical advice on how to make better use of each day and open your eyes to why we live and work the way we do.
This book is perfect for entrepreneurs who are determined to exhaust themselves for work but find themselves becoming overwhelmed with stress and busyness.
The Book’s Unique Quality (6:21)
What really differentiates my book is that it really looks at the big picture and how interconnected everything is. I wanted to know why things are the way they are and how they could be better.
The Best Way To Engage (9:47)
I wrote the book very intentionally that you can read it any number of ways because I understand that people are busy. So you can read from start to finish or you can jump around.
The Reader’s Takeaway (23:07)
You have to take a moment to pause and disrupt the cycle of busyness that’s out there. To be truly productive, to be truly efficient, and true to yourself, you have to take a moment and pause.
A Deep Dive Into The Book (13:04)
The book is divided into five sections. The first section I call Time Confetti because when I first started this journey that’s what it felt like; just do everything all at once in little tiny scraps of time that were exploding all over the place. The first chapter explains how it felt to live in what I call this time confetti. I felt inadequate at work, at home, and that I didn’t have time to do anything and so I really explore that.
I look at the question of leisure; what is leisure time and who has ever had it? I look at the history of leisure and how it’s different for men and woman and also of people with different economic needs. I explore the question of busyness; we tend to think of being busy as the way we show our value. I found a researcher in Fargo, North Dakota who studies busyness and the fast pace of life and I spend time with her at a focus group she set up. The last part of this chapter I look at the consequences of us being overwhelmed and I went to the Yale Stress Center and looked at some fascinating research that they are doing about how stress is affecting our brain.
The next part of the book is divided into Work, Love, Play, and Time. In the work section I talk about policy, I have a section about the ideal worker norm, and a section called When Work Works. In the love section I talk lot about our gender roles and what many sociologist call The Stalled Gender Revolution; why women are still doing twice the housework and three times the childcare. In the play section I went to Denmark to understand what is going on in Denmark that enables people there to have so much leisure time and what I found was very interesting. The last part of this chapter looks at play and why it’s important and the science behind it.
NOTE: That was just a summary. To get the full deep dive, play the audio clip at 13:04
Notable Quotes From The Book (24:26)
“Time is the coin of your life. You spend it; do not allow others to spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (0:35)
I have been a longtime reporter for The Washington Post and been a journalist for most of my adult life. I have covered a wide variety of things throughout my career. I am married and the mom of two kids who are now 13 and 16. I live in Alexandria Virginia and grew up in Portland Oregon.
Overwhelmed was a completely accidental book. Through my career I have always wanted to write a book. There are lots of journalists out there and that’s sort of a big dream that they all have but you just get so busy and you don’t really have time to think about it. I was part of this group in The Washington Post where we were looking at a readership numbers and we were noticing a big gap between male and female readers. We found that more men were reading the newspaper and before women were and the reason why that is important is that women over 50 have always been the most loyal newspaper readers. So we put together what we call The Women’s Reader Committee and we wanted to understand why women are not reading the paper and how do we bring them back? This committee was made up of me and all other women. The first thing we did was roll our eyes because we as women know that we don’t have time in the mornings to read the newspaper. And it became this sort of confessional about just how crazy our lives were. From there I did a time study and to my surprise found that we have all this leisure time we aren’t aware of which led me to writing this book.
Other Books Recommended By The Author (26:18)
More Information About This Book and The Author
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More Information About This Episode
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