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Overworked: is it really working?

Saturday - 3/22/2014, 2:29am  ET

WASHINGTON-- It's cliche but true -- life is short, and we're always in such a hurry to get all our "stuff" done that we may not be really living.

"We're not living the best lives and having our best relationships by being so focused on technology and work and over-scheduling our kids and worrying about the future," said Washington Post Journalist Brigid Schulte, author of the new book, "Overwhelmed."

She says by being so busy all the time, we're losing the point of a good life. "Which is, to really feel like you are living in it, while you're living, not standing on the sidelines, watching it fly by.

"Our cultural attitudes have just not caught up with our reality. We're expected to work as if we don't have family or lives, and we're expected to have families as if we don't work," she tells WTOP in a recent interview.

"When was the last time you talked to somebody, and you said, 'what have you been doing?' and they said 'nothing.' And you think, whoo, what a loser!"

While other countries value downtime and leisure more than work, we seem to be doing the opposite. "They (other cultures) see it as really critical for being able to come into work and do creative, productive work. To come into your relationships, refreshed and not exhausted."

So what to do?

"Flip that 'to do' list -- don't do all the 'stuff' first and then get to what's important. Do the important stuff first. Because time is of the essence, and life ultimately is fairly short."

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