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

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A persuasive, practical, and much needed manifesto that makes the case for reclaiming our weekends to increase joy, creativity, productivity, and success in our lives.

Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad's The Weekend Effect asks us to reconsider the role of the weekend in our lives—often lost to overbooked schedules, domestic chores, shopping, pinging devices, and encr
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
This is a light piece of non-fiction that addresses the challenges of achieving work-life balance. The chapters contain a mixture of statistics and personal stories, told in a casual, conversational style of writing. While this was a quick and easy read, it failed to offer new insight to the topic, instead offering generic, common sense advice.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: work, nonfiction
Hrmm ... how to review this. The author's writing is real and approachable. At times I felt myself more rooting for her than anything else. She writes like someone I'd enjoy having an impromptu weekend (!) dinner with.

The book is comprised of factoids, history, anecdotes, and general suggestions. Some of the anecdotes made my heart ache - a workplace where leadership (!) is squashing the overwork nonsense? Sign me up.

I don't think this is a good how-to or even a stern "get busy living or get b
Having a balanced life seem like a lot of work. But to be honest I still don't know what to do with myself when I'm not working all the time. There was a little painful bit of truth when Onstad questions whether we (overworked North Americans) are afraid of free time ...more
❀ Susan G
Added notes from Feb 2021: this was a second read of this book for a work book club. It was a great refresh on the power of the weekend and nice to realize that we have been doing a better job of getting into nature with our Bruce Trail walks, spending time with others (although distantly in the days of the pandemic) and having more time as a family now that our kid's sports activities are on hiatus. This is yet another reminder of the importance of putting down the technology!!

Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaways. There were a lot of really well-researched nuggets in this book and the author examined a number of the normal time-sucks that kidnap our weekends. As someone who leaves work at work, I have a hard time identifying with the draw of answering work emails on the weekend or even thinking about work but I still certainly found a number of useful insights while reading this book.
Vicki Petersen
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Earlier this year, I resolved to no longer bring home work to finish during my week-long vacations from work. In many cases, this meant working through lunch or taking away free time the weekend before vacation to wrap up projects - a nice trade off for not working during what's supposed to be paid time off to rejuvenate the mind and spirit. I also resolved to give myself one day off a week from all work, including those pesky domestic that easily gobble up our free time. Granted, I'm a mother s ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say that this book was full of things I hadn't known before, but Katrina Onstad's exploration of them made me look at them in a whole new light. Her finale of Manifesto for a Good Weekend has been copied and is going on my bedroom door - and maybe my refrigerator door - and my computer - and my laundry bin - and . . . ...more
Chuck Slack
Aug 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not what I was expecting. It is well written and does invoke some thought. Unfortunately it seemed to me to be too female focused.
Powerfully written and surprisingly optimistic.
Hasini | bibliosini
I picked up this book anticipating the impending work clutter I'll face when my internship starts, but in true 2020 fashion, I'm at home studying endlessly while trying to read, crochet, and blog.

I enjoyed Onstad's narrative on the weekend the pillar stones of the 'best weekend'. I picked up on many changes I would like to see in my own weekends, and I reflected back on the better weekends I've had. This nonfiction was surprisingly enjoyable, colloquial and easy to engage in.

The only reason why
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very inspirational and excellent writing. I recommend this one highly!
Diane B
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Not really a leisurely read, with a barrage of facts it felt a bit like a very long should-do list. It seems to speak mainly to a thin slice of the population - well educated, high income, parents of young children, in their late thirties early forties. Still, I kept reading. Although I'm not in that demographic, I am always looking for ways to improve work/life balance.

Even when I was working 55+ hours a week, my weekends stayed pretty clear, so this book is definitely preaching to the converte
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
grew on me a bit as I went along. The general social commentary was worthwhile but a little boring b/c very familiar -- if you are fortunate enough to have a professional salaried [no overtime] job and healthy active kids and the disposable income to involve them in a lot of organized activities and an Internet connection permitting your co-workers to reach you at all or work-like to-dos such as errands or driving the kids to scheduled stuff can end up taking over a lot of your w ...more
Jeff Zell
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, life, work
Taking time off is easier said than done in the gig economy. Or, when a person is anxious that a missed call, text, email, might mean the end of a job. Onstad is out to convince the reader that taking time off, a weekend, or even a full 24 hour cycle, leads to a happier, more productive worker. Onstad also addresses the connected issue of working longer hours. Longer hours of work do not necessarily make for better or more productive work.

Connected to work is also how people use their non-work
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This wasn't some new idea or anything--nor was it written in a way that transformed anything, but it was simple and sometimes simple is exactly what you need to open your eyes just a smidge wider. Before reading this book I started doing little things so work wouldn't get in the way of life. I've always been big on coming in at 9 and leaving at 5 and taking a walk outside for 30 minutes. No matter what. I'll bring my work home on occasion, but it's not like others I see in my industry who always ...more
Sasha Boersma
A great collection of various elements of research about North America's addiction to work, where it comes from, and some considerations to streamline life.

Nothing terribly revolutionary if you've kept up with the news about the leisure gap and value of nature and scheduling less.

But if you've been questioning why you're feeling frazzled and want some form of support or encouragement or a different perspective to use as a base, this book is very helpful.

It is slightly autobiographical, where the
Marjorie Elwood
Less a 'how-to' manual for taking back your weekend and more of a 'why you should do so', Onstad quotes studies showing that employee productivity is highest in the countries with the fewest number of hours worked per week, as productivity drops the longer the hours worked. Some thought-provoking tidbits: "Basecamp [a project management software company] banned meetings because the company discovered they suck up the day, leaving people to do their actual work at night and on weekends."

I liked t
Tammy (tales.of.tammy)
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I do not read a ton of non-fiction as reading is my escape, but I saw this one on bookstagram and it sounded like something I needed! I really enjoyed this book and found it to be insightful. I wasn’t picking it up for the overworking part of it, but more for the taking back your weekend part. I have most weekends off, but I feel I waste them. This read gave examples of how your weekend can feel longer, instilled in me that I don’t have to be super productive every weekend, and has inspired me t ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting read that really made me consider what it is I do with my weekends. While I'm not the workaholic, always-on-call type, my weekends have definitely been spent doing chores more often than doing the fun leisure activities that would actually leave me refreshed. In other words, I could do with a better weekend. The book covers all sorts of things: the history of how the weekend even became a thing, how overwork is killing some of us, how technology is leaving our weekends ...more
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what I think of this book. It is readable, researched without being overly academic, and very practical. On the other hand, it seemed too long, a lot of it was obvious and felt too similar to the many books that talk about 'figure out what is important to you, then choose to do that'. In this case Onstad focuses on time and the weekend but it could be about interpersonal relationships, health, style... In the end it was a good reminder and if you've never read anything like this, it ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book about taking back the weekend and fighting against the cultural norm of more, more, more. Katrina Onstad does this with a mix of personal and gathered story, statistics, studies and more to examine why taking two straight days off is beneficial for individual people, families and society as a whole. She does a good job of looking at what makes a good weekend in connecting with other people, quality and not meaningless or mindless recreation (ie. play vs. binge watching tv), simpli ...more
Devin Ambron
What was life like before "weekends" existed? It's hard to imagine that eight hour work days were at one time considered a luxury. Shaved down from ten hours, it is considered ideal to have eight hours split three times between labor, recreation and rest.

We may have become afraid of leisure and instead tether ourselves to digital task managers that fill weekends with errand running or strategic scheduling. Time maximization is at an all time high.

The death of the weekend is closer than we thin
So I am a workaholic who has recently hit a wall after a lot of extra overtime. I am terrible at relaxing that doesn't involve distraction and I love to do lists. Even on weekends. I have had some complete wastes of weekends lately and I constantly worry about things I'm not getting done.

This book spoke to me in a way that I can't accurately describe. The manifesto is simple, easy to digest and implement in steps and was a really good conclusion to the book.

The writing style wasn't my favourite
Ajay Palekar
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
To often I struggle throughout the week to balance exercise, work, sleep, and everything else only to find my weekend filled with an unachievable list of to-do's -- catching up with the family, laundry, groceries, meal prep, reading, gaming, traveling, socializing, drinking, etc... By the time the weekend ends, not only have we done very little of meaning, but feel more exhausted than we did when it all started.

This is the type of book that I needed to read. Making time for leisure, finding a b
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It's ironic that while reading this book I was working overtime anywhere from 7 to 13 days at a stretch. The idea of having a weekend was a pipe-dream, but one much longed for. As someone who chronically feels like she simultaneously not getting enough done and yet feels overwhelmed, this was a great book to read. It helped articulate an experience shared by way too many people, tracking both the evolution of the 8-hour work day, the initial creation of the weekend, and its slow decay as work co ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This was interesting. I found that I was most interested in the chapter on work and the weekend; the other chapters didn't speak to me as much. But I'm glad I read it, and I'm going to try a couple of things to "reclaim" my weekends for leisure pursuits. I know I'm not necessarily the best test case, considering I never ever work on a weekend, and I don't have children to deal with, but I'm going to do some things I think do apply to me, specifically around the technology in my life. We'll see.

Vee Tee
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-v-book-club
Nearly 3 years ago, my New Year's resolution was to stop working on the weekend.

This book is the soundtrack to why I'll never work another weekend again.

The culture of overwork wasn't working for me, so I stopped buying it.

I work hard during the week, and then I don't.

I am happier, I am healthier and guess what - I'm more productive.

I highly reccomend this book to ANYONE who's suffering in the cult of overwork and is looking for a way out.

This is the door, walk through it.
Ashley Ward
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well timed to finish this read on a long weekend. This book discusses how we’ve let chores, errands and busy schedules take over our weekends and the importance of leisure time to our well being. Very well researched book that touches on a lot of aspects of modern living and offers a point form manifesto for a well balanced weekend that will fill up your tank instead of draining it before you go back into the workweek.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well-written investigation about the history of the weekend. I initially expected more practical tips but looking back understand the absurdity of that wish. Upon finishing the book, the true message rang home, offering clear practicality: The weekends are sacred and wonderful opportunities to enjoy what truly matters in life.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This was a quick read, examining the cult over overwork, and how to reclaim the sanctity of the weekend. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to leave my work at work, but unpaid work and other commitments often clutter my weekends. The author presented some good food for thought on how to restructure and reevaluate priorities to allow yourself down time to enjoy the weekend.
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Katrina Onstad is an award-winning culture writer and novelist whose work has appeared in publications around the world including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and Elle. The Weekend Effect, a manifesto for time off, is her first non-fiction book.

Katrina's novels include How Happy to Be and the national bestseller Everybody Has Everything, which was longlisted for the Scotia

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