How to Stop Work From Taking Over Your Life

Checking email at all hours. Catching up on work every weekend. Feeling like you should be doing something productive when you rest. If you’ve ever been caught in the modern malady of overwork and hyper-productivity, you’re not alone. And this conversation is for you.

The Inner Drive to Overwork

Tapestry is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s weekly radio program on spirituality and the search for meaning. After writing about my own wrestle with overwork for The Times, I was invited on to the show to explore the topic further. Host Mary Hynes is a warm, wise, and brilliant conversation partner who gets you sharing more than you thought you had to share. In the following interview we discuss:

  • Why society has come to idolise work (hint: it’s not about money)
  • How I realised work was playing too big a part in my life (ouch)
  • The problem with defining ourselves primarily by our jobs
  • Why rest doesn’t need to be justified
  • Why playfulness is next to godliness
  • How to incorporate ‘sacred inefficiencies’ into your day
  • The simple daily practice that helps me break the hyper-productivity cycle

A Moment’s Pause

I love exploring Christian ideas on secular shows like this. Take a moment to pause and listen to the conversation below. If you have any problems playing it head to the Tapestry page direct.


We ought not be counting all the minutes and making sure we’re packing them full of every bit of achievement we can possibly squeeze into them. We need moments where we just simply are

Yes, we are workers, but we are also people who play and who befriend others and do service in the community and enjoy art. We are more than our professions

I am a child of God. That is my first and primary identity. If I can go deep into that—find my deepest sense of meaning, purpose, significance and security in it—then work can fall into its secondary place

Talk to Me

Have you wrestled with overwork? What’s helped you break the cycle? Tell me in the comments below.

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