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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  20 reviews
We work feverishly to make ourselves happy. So why are we so miserable? This manifesto helps us break free of our unhealthy devotion to efficiency and shows us how to reclaim our time and humanity with a little more leisure.

Despite our constant search for new ways to "hack" our bodies and minds for peak performance, human beings are working more instead of less, living
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Harmony
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Yesenia Juarez
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite interesting, I wish I only worked 40 hours a week and I dont even have children. Everyone should listen to this it makes your brains wheels turn. ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do Nothing is an excellent, well-researched interrogation on our cultures obsession with overwork and efficiency, and the ways it stifles creativity and actual productivity and leads to a lower quality of life.

Headlee gives a great historical foundation and context for how American culture came to be so obsessed work and busyness. She also cites study after study on how working longer hours actually leads to decreased productivity. More importantly, and perhaps more surprising, she cites loads
Susie Stangland
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a title that grabbed my attention as Im someone who has to always be doing something, even in my leisure time whether its hiking, reading, cooking or even a puzzle. So I wanted to learn more on the concept of doing nothing. This book brings home the value of down time or leisure time and how it contributes to a healthier way of managing stress. It includes studies to back it up. So instead of feeling guilty about that one more chapter or just chillin, I will actually feel productive. ...more
Claudia Greening
Mar 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
I always take notes in longhand now, but since I love trees, I dont use paper. (pg. 84)

This quote sums up the book for me. It felt so deeply out of touch with the lives of working class people (who make up a majority of the economy, including me). Headlee seemed to think she was offering something new to us when she wrote of setting aside time for leisure, investing in relationships outside of work, and analyzing our schedules to force freedom. But in reality, she is offering an age old
Afton Mortensen
I read this immediately following Lost Connections by Johann Hari, and it was a perfect complement. This book focuses more on work-life balance but ultimately had the same message: we become void of human decency and instead full of misery when we dont prioritize our human relationships. I am fascinated by the trend of articles and titles focusing on this topic lately, including much of Jia Tolentinos work as well as Jenny Odells How To Do Nothing. Its about time we have a revolution from the ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January.

A treatise on not working so hard, against the fear of not getting enough done, the assumption that wealth means ease, feeling guilty for the times that were not busy or overbooked, wasting our profitable time doing tasks that surround a goal before actually completing it, and advancing too far forward as a society that its too difficult to look back. Instead, Headlee highlights the need to ration time in order
Michael Wolcott
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The author is a gifted writer who provides important perspective on overworkdefinitely focused more on that than the recommendations provided. Overall a helpful read for those who are stretched thin. ...more
Kayla Mckinney
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
It isn't often you find a truly likable narrator in nonfiction - so likable that they can challenge truths you've held and still maintain your respect. Celeste Headlee is just such a narrator. In "Do Nothing," she guides the reader first through a history of work, revealing that even through the nineteenth century people spent as much time at rest as they did laboring. She looks at language, play, overparenting, our tendency to give up our sick or vacation days in the name of being seen as ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I got this book from goodreads first reads and Im very glad for that fact. Make no mistake, this is a book with an axe to grind. It shines the light in a dark corner that most of us dont want to acknowledge. It was equal parts fascinating, sickening, and exhausting for flaying bare the cult of business and what it does to our lives. It was nice that it included some ideas to help get off the hamster wheel and although none of them are revelatory they all ring true. It is a good reminder to ...more
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Is the daily grind getting you down? Is the constant search for new "Life Hacks" taking more time than it is giving back? When was the last time you put down your phone?

Why I started this book: Overwhelm. It's a feeling I know well.

Why I finished it: Fascinating to consider the historical forces shaping our society's worship of efficiency, peak performance and the 70 hour work week. And a good reminder that taking breaks is a necessary part of being human and not a sign of weakness or moral
Sarah Davalt
Not at all what I expected, it was more or of a history of how we became so focused on productivity and multi-tasking than about how to do nothing. I dont know now that I have read it that it is self-help, I feel like it is more encouraging the reader to self-evaluate, to remember to breathe and take moments to enjoy the life they built. That it isnt a competition of who is busiest, that family and work can and should be separate spheres. ...more
Samantha Hines
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Relevant in these times.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
A lot of history and context and little actionable advice. The book spends less than 20% of its content answering what the title and sub title promise. The advice isnt bad, but it feels like it could have been a blog post (or a set of them). ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
i really appreciated reading this at home in quarantine during the corona pandemic. lots to think about. I have lots of free time now just to think...
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ive never considered myself to be obsessed with work or to be somebody who snubs idle time. However, I can also admit that I have absolutely used my busy-ness and lack of free time as a sort of humble brag. Look at me! Im important enough to have every moment of my life spoken for. Should have asked me to hangout months ago!

Do Nothing takes a deep dive into humankinds relationship with work and our developed obsession with being busy. Headlee covers everything from the history of the 8 hour
Jenny Javier
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Insightful and worth reading again.
Kelly Gutzmer
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
If you find yourself over worked and exhausted its a must. Some great tips but it was dry in Part 1 although the facts were very interesting ...more
Mar 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
This is OK. The first half is a history of work, which has some interesting info, most of which most people don't know. The second half has a few suggestions. I skimmed some of it. The author's high intelligence shines thru her writing, and I hope she writes more.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a topic Im interested in and for which I follow the research. There were some new tidbits, and its great to have this info pulled together in one place. ...more
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“Our level of happiness may change transiently in response to life events, but then almost always returns to its baseline level as we habituate to those events and their consequences over time.” 0 likes
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