Ashley Milne-Tyte talks to Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, in a conversation inspired by the revelation that nearly 80 percent of the meeting professionals who responded to Convene‘s annual salary survey didn’t take all of the vacation they earned last year.
That’s all too common, Schulte said.
In the U.S. “we don’t have a history or culture of embracing taking time off to recharge, relax, refresh, enjoy your life. There has always been a very strong work streak in the U.S. … we get a lot of meaning and identity out of work.
“That’s really gone crazy,” Schulte said, “since the switch to the service and knowledge economy, where we all have jobs like meeting planners where you’re not sure you’re ever done, there’s always more to do, there’s always the next thing coming up.
“I think what’s really important and we Americans need to be more aware of is the emerging neuroscience about how our brains and bodies work. If you want to be really work focused— to do an excellent job — the only way to do that is by taking time off, by getting enough rest and relaxation to be able to be recharged and come back in refreshed.
“We don’t have much good research on vacation because nobody takes it. But what research on overwork and burnout is showing is you are much less effective if you keep pushing and pushing and pushing, which has become the culture in America right now.”