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CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  508 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Look at what's happened to the usual how-are-you exchange. It used to go like this: "How are you?" "Fine." Now it often goes like this: "How are you?" "Busy." Or "Too busy." Or simply "Crazy."

Without intending for it to happen or knowing how, when, or why it got started, many people now find that they live in a rush they never wanted. If you feel busier than you've ever
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published March 28th 2006)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  508 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Mar 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life
The first half was an exceptionally long-winded and repetitive description of modern life. We're all stressed, too busy, freaking out, rushing around, yadda yadda yadda. The author covered this ad nauseam, to the point of including a glossary of his own annoying made-up terms, invented to describe aspects of the problem. I guess I have too good an imagination, because reading all the yammer about the ways we stress ourselves out and make our lives miserable, over and over, was really stressing ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This book makes the argument that modern life has stretched people so thin that our collective busyness is detrimental to our well-being.

This book is very clearly not written for the working mother (or primary caregiver). The entire first half of the book reiterates the same points over and over again - that we are too busy, that our time-saving technologies are harming us, that we need to find time to connect, that we need only handle things that matter… but as a working mom I find it
Dec 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who cannot relate to being "overstretched, overbooked, and about to snap?" As with his other books, Dr. Hallowell presents not only the problem (overcommitted, speeded-up lifestyles), but some practical solutions as well. I rolled my eyes along with the anecdotes he presents, completely identifying with his subjects. If you want to do something good for you and your family, read this book -- especially if you think you don't have time to.
It is obvious that this was written by a man who has most of his daily needs met by someone else. Next time I get married, I want a wife that will take care of everything while I figure out what I really want and need to do. The 'leaches' (time wasters) that I need to give up are: grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and child rearing oh! and sex.
Julio Bonilla
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books I read on ADD after being diagnosed in 2012.
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by my daughter who found this helpful in stratagising a less stressful approach to her, I read this at a time where I had already done a bit of life simplification. Prior to reading it, I was interested in the fact that reviews bounced around considerably....from 1 to 5, and that some of the low ratings were from people who were "too busy" to really read the book apparently. I found Hallowell's book slightly slow paced, but it had some creative suggestions and better than just a list ...more
Krishna Kumar
A fundamental problem with this book is that if it is meant to be written for busy people, it should have been way shorter than it was. The book has some good stories, but there is a lot of unnecessary rambling. In addition, the author introduces a lot of terms like "Gemmelsmerch" and "Frazzing" - keeping up with these terms is another pain to deal with for anyone who is really busy. The meat of the book comes in the last few chapters where the author explains why we are busy and what we can do ...more
I attempted to listen to the audio book of this text - must admit, the first three chapters just made me more stressed and agitated than when I began. I don't know whether it was the man's tone, the pacing or the writing itself, but I found listening to this doing more harm than good. However there were some really interesting nuggets of information mixed into the "how bad, and I'm making it worse by spreading it around more and more" words I was listening to in the car. I think I'd like to buy ...more
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Listened to audio book in car while commuting Sept 2008
The 2 good ideas to take away:
1. Leeches vs Lillies -- identifying activities and people into each category; get rid of the leeches.
2. OHIO - Only Handle It Once -- with email, bills, etc., do the proper thing with it the first time, rather than re-read it or re-review it before filing it, replying, etc.

Otherwise, I didn't care for the book & wouldn't recommend it. The author gave far too many examples/illustrations of a single point
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ironically I feel like I have had no time to read this book!
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK. I learned some productivity tips for minimizing electronic distractions. I found the made up words distracting though.
Suzanne Arcand
Disapointed. Rather superficial and not very useful.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It starts with an explanation of the problem, continues with a lot of good and useful advice, and finishes on a more philosophical and expansive note. I definitely want to read more from Dr. Hallowell, so it is a good thing that he has written a few books. He has a great perspective and a nice easygoing style.

While the advice does consist mainly of the obvious, that you have to be able to say no, he does go pretty far beyond that with a lot of detailed advice, so this is like
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Ever wonder how you get through the day in the modern high-tech communications world in which we live? If Blackberrys, PDAs, voice mail, text messaging, e-mails, longer workdays and information overflow are making you crazy, Dr. Hallowell has some news for you. (like, for starters, you're not alone.) This Massachusetts author and ADD psychiatrist, begins by taking you through a rather extensive, yet easy-to-read, analysis of the current trends that have foisted themselves on society through ...more
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, ti's to return to some easier reading. CrazyBusy talks about the frantic modern life which makes us go faster but falling farther behind. It's a subject I think that all of us can relate to on some level.

Edward takes us through some humorous examples of our modern life. They are fun and see ourselves and hopefully laugh at ourselves. He then starts pointing out a strategies to get a hold of our life ... like a time budget.

We hear about financial budgets and diet diaries but not time budgets.
A.C. Bauch
i've read a couple of hallowell's other books on add/adhd, so i expected that i'd like this one as well. love how the book is written in an "add/adhd" (in this case, crazybusy, i guess) friendly way--nice, short chapters.

apparently i needed to read this book more than i realized. i got so busy that it took me almost four months to finally finish it! however, i guess that now was the time for me to seriously consider what i'm doing with my life, especially my time, which i notoriously squander
Um, I'm too busy to read this?

Tidbits I did pull out of this before I returned it to the library:

At the heart of making the most of life today is the ability to treasure and protect your connections to what you care most about: people, places, activities, pets, a spiritual connection, a piece of music, even objects that are dear to you. But you must not have too many connections or none will flourish. Pick the ones that matter most to you and nourish them religiously; make that your top
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book came highly recommended and although I liked it and agreed with much of what the author had to say, I felt that it was repetitive and would have benefited from an inclusion of more practical advice earlier in the book. It spent a lot of time validating the fact that "we" are crazy busy but I knew that when I picked the book up.
What have I done differently since I began reading the book?
1. unsubscribed to several emails that I do not need to receive either because they
a. send too many
April WW
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
My work has a Life Long Learner's book club and I joined it when I saw them about to start this book...figured it couldn't hurt! Funny to see a book about this because I've been saying for years that everyone in our society has ADD now because of the way things come at us and the way we are expected to react to all of the input. Not sure if or how reading about it is going to help but if nothing else, misery loves company. haha

Update 9/9/09: I am laughing at the fact that having a reading
This book was published in 2007, but I think it is even more relevant today, especially "screen sucking." I had been thinking about canceling cable, and finally did it after reading this one. Though I didn't do the full run down of how I spend every waking minute, I think people might be surprised how much time they spend on the computer/smartphone/tablet and watching TV and how little pay off there is from it. I'm using a computer as I type this so I am not totally cutting this out of my life, ...more
Mark Stalcup
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Snagged this book for a buck, the aftermath of a love affair with a lovely little optimist whose self-help shelves were multitudinous. She offset my relentless pessimism and lectured me often on eating better, setting up boundaries, taking up zen meditation seriously and trying yoga, all that fun stuff. Given that my life tends to run at 120 mph, I take on too much work - often to avoid dealing with other, depressing stuff and to glean the filthy lucre I need to pay the vultures - this book was ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Skimming is the way to read this book or it will be one more things added to your crazy-business!
Skip the first 41 pages - it's just filler unless you want to commiserate with others. Then look at chapter titles. Part 2 is creating a system. (Setting limits, getting best return on time investment, finding your rhythm, setting a positive emotional environment, don't get distracted, delegate, slow down.) Connect with what matters to you, cancel what doesn't, control technology, create organized
Renee Brooks
Aug 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably the biggest waste of time I have ever come across which is ironic because this book is aimed to show just how busy we really are and how to help with that. I have never been as frustrated with an author as I am with this one. I mean megaloptopus? Ghemelsmurch? Frazzing? He creates entire new words to describe meaningless attributes about a busy life which take away from the helpfulness from this book. Then to top it all off, the remainder of this book has so little information ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i just finished reading this book this year (2013) as i write this review and amazingly the importance of this book has only enhanced although it was first written in 2006 (to my knowledge) - its very true and the author covers some very important aspects of ones life and how overwhelmingly busy it can get...just look around with the recent advent of mobile devices and smartphones...only enhances it

a must read to aid you in the crazy BUSY and hectic world of today to help you keep mindful of
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are feeling overwhelmed, distracted, unfocused
This is a fairly dry read but I thought it was good information. It gives a good explanation of WHY most people today feel so overloaded. He also has a couple of lists that I found helpful, one is of the distractors that keep us from doing what we REALLY want to do and the other is of ways to work on keeping focused on what you REALLY want to do.

This quote was meaningful to me: "The best reason to take your time is that this is the only time you'll ever have. You must take it or it will be
Rachel Fielding
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been better as a few well thought out blog posts. This read like an introduction that repeated itself over and over, to the point that I thought I was re-reading chapters. Honestly, I felt like the author was trying to convince me that I needed to finish reading his book, rather than offering any substantial advice. And, unfortunately, most of his advice is not practical for me or most people I know, although I'm sure we'd all love to "Hire a personal assistant for 5 hours a ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Dated material (Fax/Pager/PDA old) written mainly for those with ADD (clearly stated in the text, but not in the title or on the cover). Since I am highly focused and have no ADD tendencies I found this book to be common sense - no new material. I read the whole book hoping for some science or at least some substance, but the best material is in the first half of the book, it completely fizzles after that.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hallowell provides a strong argument for slowing down and prioritizing what is important to you. He also urges adults to play, something we tend to forget to do as we get busier. He seems to spend a bit too much time explaining how we 'lose' our time when most of us already know that. He does, however, provide some very pragmatic bits of advice for reclaiming one's life. Worth taking a look at if you are feeling like it's all a bit too much.
Diana Nagy
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was a pretty good book. I was a little surprised on the contents but I did learn quite a bit and was happy with the book itself. Has a lot of personal information and stories about others. I like more information but the thing about this book is that the information is contained within the story. I like when its all separated. But it does have a lot of good advice and information that you can take out of it to truly change your life for the better. To finally relax.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
While I liked this book, I felt like there was a lot of stuff in it that could have been cut out. Which is funny, since it's a book about paring down your life and getting rid of the white noise so you can do what is important to you. There were a few really key ideas -- ten tips for surviving modern life, how to avoid getting distracted by technology, etc. -- and I felt like those were applicable. However, I don't know that I finished this book and considered it a "re-read" book.
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Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D., is a child and adult psychiatrist, a NY Times bestselling author, a world-renowned speaker and a leading authority in the field of ADHD. He has authored twenty books including the 1994 ground-breaking New York Times best-seller on ADHD, Driven to Distraction. In aggregate, Dr. Hallowell's books have sold more than 2 million copies on various psychological topics ...more
“The best reason to take your time is that this time is the only time you'll ever have.” 7 likes
“Always valuable, your attention has now also become one of your most insecure assets and most-sought-after possessions.” 4 likes
More quotes…