Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving

by: Celeste Headlee (0)

“A welcome antidote to our toxic hustle culture of burnout.”—Arianna Huffington
“This book is so important and could truly save lives.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
“A clarion call to work smarter [and] accomplish more by doing less.”—Adam Grant
We work feverishly to make ourselves happy. So why are we so miserable?
  Despite our constant search for new ways to optimize our bodies and minds for peak performance, human beings are working more instead of less, living harder not smarter, and becoming more lonely and anxious. We strive for the absolute best in every aspect of our lives, ignoring what we do well naturally and reaching for a bar that keeps rising higher and higher. Why do we measure our time in terms of efficiency instead of meaning? Why can’t we just take a break?   In
Do Nothing, award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee illuminates a new path ahead, seeking to institute a global shift in our thinking so we can stop sabotaging our well-being, put work aside, and start living instead of doing. As it turns out, we’re searching for external solutions to an internal problem. We won’t find what we’re searching for in punishing diets, productivity apps, or the latest self-improvement schemes. Yet all is not lost—we just need to learn how to take time for ourselves, without agenda or profit, and redefine what is truly worthwhile.
  Pulling together threads from history, neuroscience, social science, and even paleontology, Headlee examines long-held assumptions about time use, idleness, hard work, and even our ultimate goals. Her research reveals that the habits we cling to are doing us harm; they developed recently in human history, which means they are habits that can, and must, be broken. It’s time to reverse the trend that’s making us all sadder, sicker, and less productive, and return to a way of life that allows us to thrive.

The Reviews

Like many of us, I fell into the trap of overworking for most of my career. Usually working three jobs as if it was the most normal thing to do. At the time, I just thought I was someone who “hustled” to move ahead. Celeste’s great and well-researched book confirmed what I now know to be true. We have been using the wrong work model all this time. She gives us permission to slow down, take breaks, and reengage with what truly matters. I highly recommend this book! Your brain will send you a thank you card. R. Williams, co-author of The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction and The Gift of Recovery.

Please do yourself a favor and buy this book. Golly, I didn't expect to have my mind blown in the way that I think about life and work!!! It really makes you see how our modern society has shaped our livestyle and work habits so negatively without us even realizing it. She really keeps it interesting with her stories, and has included lots of amazing psychology, history and positive suggestions for change. I don't feel guilty about resting or enjoying my hobbies anymore. So life-transforming when you take it to heart!

Lots of great insightful nuggets to chew on in this book. To me it is clear that our non-stop, fast paced, multitasking ways do not work and are not healthy and this book offers guidance of how to get away from that. I will say this book does not apply as well to lower income hourly workers.

This book is going to my top favorites list!Some of the points seem obvious in hindsight but they're beautiful laid out with real life examples & research.It resonnated with my personal lifestyle at multiple points and I definitely relate. We're so driven to be productive & efficient and labeled as "busy" as if anything less makes us less. So the author helped put things on perspective in terms of being more mindful of our time and thinking about the bigger picture pals while breaking the norms about long hours, efficiency and ever persistent need to answer texts & emails fast.I would highly recommend this to anyone driven by our modern need to be efficient.

Loved it! I love exploring why our society is so hell bent on productivity and this book was a great blend of history, theories, and self help.

This book summarized much of what I have been feeling in the last four years. Perhaps it was turning 50, but I have been reckoning with my own issues with productivity and efficiency. I have been wondering how much is my personality and how much of this focused busyness was taken on from cultural norms. This book puts that question in perspective as the author has clearly experienced the same messages and pursuit of productivity. The millennials may be on to something...

Amazing how much insight Celeste shared in so few pages!Clear, conversational tone, approachable vocabulary.Never talks down to reader.Impressed with the weaving together of research from many fields to suggest culture changes that would address the most pressing problems of our times..... climate crisis, social isolation, income inequality, anxiety,Celeste gives concrete steps towards living the life you want rather than the one the culture is pulling you into... which destroys health and squashes your human skills of compassion, creativity, and connection.

This book has been a nice companion as I rethink my work life balance. I appreciate the book not telling the reader they are broken (rather the system is) and acknowledges that the information in the book will feel different to different people depending on their life situation. All around interesting and great read.

Recently I’ve been striving to take some time back in my day and reduce stress. I can’t say I’ve been extremely successful in doing that alone, however, this book gives great context and building blocks to take breaks and reclaim time throughout the day. Highly recommend for those who find themselves constantly stressed and “too busy.”

I was not overwhelmingly wowed by the writing. It is clear and well-articulated but not particularly vivid. However, the historical evidence and research synthesized and presented in the book gives much food for thought.

A good read for those who are caught up in trying to do everything at once. Many people in the United States focus on doing so many things that sometimes they do not feel like they have time for things they want to be doing. Time is something you won't get back so remember to use it to do the things you really want to do.

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving
⭐ 4.5 💛 776
kindle: $13.90
paperback: $8.19
hardcover: $4.51
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