The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork

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Encroaching work demands—coupled with domestic chores, overbooked schedules, and the incessant pinging of our devices—have taken a toll on what used to be our free time: the weekend. With no space to tune out and recharge, every aspect of our lives is suffering: our health is deteriorating, our social networks (the face-to-face kind) are dissolving, and our productivity is down. The notion of working less and living more, once considered an American virtue, has given way to the belief that you must be “on” 24/7.

Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad, pushes back against this all-work, no-fun ethos. Tired of suffering from Sunday night letdown, she digs into the history, positive psychology, and cultural anthropology of the great missing weekend and how we can revive it.

Onstad follows the trail of people, companies, and countries who are vigilantly protecting their time off for joy, adventure, and most important, purpose. Filled with personal and professional inspiration, The Weekend Effect is a thoughtful, well-researched argument to take back those precious 48 hours, and ultimately, to save ourselves.

 

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About the author

KATRINA ONSTAD is a multiple award–winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian and Elle. Her critically lauded novels include How Happy to Be and Everybody Has Everything, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. Onstad lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
May 2, 2017
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780062440204
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / General
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This is not a book for Bill Gates. Or Hillary Clinton, or Steven Spielberg. Clearly they have no trouble getting stuff done. For the great majority of us, though, what a comfort to discover that we’re not wastrels and slackers, but doers . . . in our own way. It may sound counterintuitive, but according to philosopher John Perry, you can accomplish a lot by putting things off. He calls it “structured procrastination”:

In 1995, while not working on some project I should have been working on, I began to feel rotten about myself. But then I noticed something. On the whole, I had a reputation as a person who got a lot done and made a reasonable contribution. . . . A paradox. Rather than getting to work on my important projects, I began to think about this conundrum. I realized that
I was what I call a structured procrastinator: a person who gets a lot done by not doing other things.

Celebrating a nearly universal character flaw, The Art of Procrastination is a wise, charming, compulsively readable book—really, a tongue-in-cheek argument of ideas. Perry offers ingenious strategies, like the defensive to-do list (“1. Learn Chinese . . .”) and task triage. He discusses the double-edged relationship between the computer and procrastination—on the one hand, it allows the procrastinator to fire off a letter or paper at the last possible minute; on the other, it’s a dangerous time suck (Perry counters this by never surfing until he’s already hungry for lunch). Or what may be procrastination’s greatest gift: the chance to accomplish surprising, wonderful things by not sticking to a rigid schedule. For example, Perry wrote this book by avoiding the work he was supposed to be doing—grading papers and evaluating dissertation ideas. How lucky for us.
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