Box of Crayons Blog


Overwhelmed, Overconnected & Overstretched: How to Deal

brigid schulteWe all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, over-connected and overstretched. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject, and one of the very best I’ve read recently is by Brigid Schulte, an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post among others. Her book is called Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time a New York Times bestseller.

Brigid’s book goes into real depth, connecting serious research and her personal anecdotes to figure out why we’re overwhelmed and what we can do about it. I’m thrilled to be talking with her today.

In this interview, Brigid and I discuss:

  • Why we’re all so overwhelmed
  • The connection between leisure time and innovation
  • Why play is essential to delivering effective, meaningful work
  • The need for both individual and systemic change regarding the “overwork” culture
  • The benefits of “collective restoration”
  • Hopeful signs that corporations are moving toward a better work-life balance

(Scroll down for more in-depth podcast notes.)

Listen to my interview with Brigid Schulte.

0:00:00: Brigid elaborates on what brought her to where she is today, and points out the two fundamental questions that led her to writing her new book.

0:05:02: Brigid explains the connection between leisure time and innovation. She also answers Michael’s question regarding why play is essential to delivering effective, meaningful work.

0:10:02: Michael and Brigid discuss the importance of incorporating physicality into work breaks. Brigid points out the need for both individual and systemic change in order to break away from the “overwork” culture.

0:15:03: Brigid and Michael reflect on the benefits of “collective restoration” as well as individual vacations.

0:20:04: Michael explores how organizations can implement environmental changes to influence people’s behaviour. Brigid explains the ways in which leaders set the tone for workplace culture.

0:25:05: Brigid and Michael note famous examples of brilliant ideas and inventions that came about during leisure time. Brigid talks about personal changes she’s made to feel less overwhelmed.

0:30:00: Brigid directs listeners to the following links for more information:, her articles at The Washington Post and @BrigidSchulte on Twitter.

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