TODAY   |  December 27, 2013

Is working 24/7 actually necessary?

Cosmopolitan magazine contributor Allison Yarrow and psychologist Dale Atkins talk about women who work 24/7, and share their own feelings about how they react when they’re asked to work later than they’d prefer.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> is work all-consuming that it keeps you up thinking all night thinking of what you need to to?

>> women are grappling with the issue like sarah jessica parker .

>> i do the list in bed at night. emily's birthday theme, pirates or popstars? things to buy, pork chops , oh, jedda's birthday party . jedda, boy or girl? play date with emily, that kid that doesn't fight. refill washer fluid in the car. wait a minute, shouldn't that be on richard's list? who am i kidding, richard doesn't have a list.

>> that is so true. here to help you manage it all are alison yarrow, contributor with "cosmopolitan" magazine and a favorite of ours, and psychologist gadale atkins.

>> hello! alison used to work here, now she's on tv!

>> now she's making it in the big world , just like mary tyler moore . so exciting!

>> this is one of those things, we're on e-mail 24/7, and we think we're doing the right thing, but in effect, i mean, the essence here is we're really not more plugged in all the time, are we?

>> it's true. 24/7 is the new 9:00 to 5:00. and whether you work in a hospital or from your couch or you're raising kids, you're working all the time. and if you're not working, you're on call.

>> or you're sleeping.

>> or you're sleeping.

>> not enough.

>> yeah, and not enough.

>> what kind of an effect --

>> what impact does that have on women?

>> it has a negative impact, because what happens is we always think there's more to do, like the list, and we are not giving ourselves a chance to recover. what we're doing is we're on, on, on, and we're really stressed out. we're stressing our brain and our body and there's a negative impact, unless we take a break, and this can be little breaks, but we have to take a break to recover.

>> so, what happens? do we end up taking it out on the people around us, right, when we're irritable then or impatient? even young people who have all the energy in the world, at some point lose their energy.

>> it's true. and the best thing that you really can do is you can work as a professional athlete as an example, right? so, you can sort of train and train and train and sprint and sprint, and then you get tired and you end up treating people like crap. so, instead of doing that, you should work in recovery and then you should -- and that's just the way to go.

>> women, we're always trying hard. we feel like we have to do more.

>> always letting somebody down.

>> and be more, yeah. and i think sometimes there are things they say women fall into traps, we fall into, and one of them is, especially at work, we overexplain. i find myself doing this.

>> yes.

>> you're like, i can't come, and here's why and you give 15 reasons, or you give them too much. and guys don't typically do that, do they?

>> they don't do that, and what happens is you leave yourself open for judgment, because someone else is going to say, oh, well, if you're taking off time to do that, then how come you're doing that? and we feel like we have to defend ourselves, and really we don't. most of the time, we don't need an explanation. we just have to feel comfortable --

>> right. what should we say?

>> we should say we're not available.

>> not available or i'm free from 5 to:00 to 8:00 on tuesdays. other times, i'm not available.

>> that sometimes doesn't work if you have a boss that expects you to be attached to your blackberry or iphone the whole time.

>> you have to manage up. you have to sort of manage those expectations and say this is when i'm available and this is when i'm not available so that they don't freak out when they can't reach you.

>> right.

>> the other thing is you're much more productive when you really have your limits and you really know when you are the most productive, because other people will see that your work is not as great because you may be dozing off, you may be doing this, but when you're there, you are fully present, and that's what we often, we women don't remind ourselves that we are fully present when we are there. when we're not, we're the only ones who know.

>> happy people, it seems to me.

>> of course.

>> and balanced people.

>> you have a great article in "cosmo," but thank you both for joining us.

>> and congratulations to you.