The newsroom. Beloved as our second home may be, there’s no denying it can be a black hole for energy and an insatiable leech on our free-time. As many as 75 percent of journalists age 34 and younger reported feeling overworked in one 2011 study, which was news to no one in any other age bracket. “With high levels of cynicism and climbing rates of exhaustion, journalists are moving closer to reaching burnout,” the report concluded. And who could blame them, under the pressures of waning circulation and declining revenues, a constant bombardment of new technology and earlier deadlines, and the ever-present fear of layoffs?
Of course, it’s not just the news industry that’s feeling the squeeze: it’s clear this sensation of hopelessness pervades every workplace, as evidenced in “Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time,” a comprehensive look at “the plague of busyness” that torments us. Nowhere is this “plague” felt more acutely than the U.S., where no laws exist to limit the hours in a workweek. With so many odds stacked against juggling productivity and sanity, solutions are badly needed by journalists.
And who better to help us find answers than Brigid Schulte, author of "Overwhelmed” and an award-winning journalist herself for the Washington Post. That’s right: we are honored indeed to announce Schulte will be our guest journalist at this Tuesday’s #MuckedUp. A self-described “recovering workaholic” and “recovering helicopter parent,” Schulte issues a call for redesigning work, redefining gender roles, and recapturing the value of leisure, but adds it's also “the smaller shifts we all have to make, to maintain a semblance of sanity right here, right now.” And no one needs this more than journalists, she notes. Furthermore, Schulte’s daily writing for the Post focuses on these same work-life issues, each article imbued with the intent to uncover new answers to achieving “The Good Life.”
Anxious to ask Schulte a question about her findings, before you find yourself smothered by deadlines? Submit your Qs to me via email or via tweet by Monday 5 p.m. EST, and we’ll incorporate it into our tweetchat on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. EST! While you’re at it, click here to help us spread the word, won’t you?
(Photo Credits: Drawing - John Overmyer; Photograph - Peter C. Heimberg)