All Work No Play Book Summary - All Work No Play Book explained in key points
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All Work No Play summary

Dale Sidebottom

A Surprising Guide to Feeling More Mindful, Grateful and Cheerful

4.5 (317 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

All Work No Play by Dale Sidebottom challenges people to incorporate play into their busy lives. With evidence-based research, it inspires readers to improve their mental and physical wellbeing, enhance creativity and productivity, and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

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    All Work No Play
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    Play can change your life.

    Dale Sidebottom had hit rock bottom. At the age of 30, he was divorced and homeless, sleeping on his cousin’s couch. As a passionate physical education teacher with an entrepreneurial spirit, he’d already developed several fitness businesses and education apps. So how did someone like Dale end up in such a tough spot?

     Through professional counseling, Dale found the answer – he realized that a decade-long addiction to work had taken its toll. Through time, effort, and support from loved ones, he began turning his life around. But he credits his recovery to one thing above all else: play.

    The key message here is: Play can change your life.

    More than anything else, play helped Dale Sidebottom get himself back on track. As he began picking up the pieces of his life, he realized that somewhere along the way he had stopped having fun; he had become all work and no play. But he hadn’t always been like that.

    Dale grew up with a supportive family in a small town north of Melbourne, Australia. He loved playing with his two younger sisters, Kayla and Hannah. The three of them spent hours together – building forts, playing with LEGOs, and exploring the great outdoors. 

    Despite his solid upbringing, Dale grew into a less solid young adult. He describes himself as being narcissistic and arrogant during that period. He became obsessed with work, often putting in 18-hour days. Even when it began affecting his relationships, he could always find excuses for why it wasn’t his fault. This bad behavior followed Dale throughout his twenties and early thirties, until he hit his all-time low.

    When Dale finally admitted to himself that something had to change, one of the first things he did was start scheduling playdates into his calendar. At first, he would only do activities that brought him joy and reconnected him with his inner child when he was alone. 

    Eventually, Dale began having playdates while he was teaching or working; he incorporated fun into his lessons or into his work with a client. His mood improved almost instantly – play helped him be more present in the moment, and it reminded him to laugh and smile again.

    Throughout these blinks, we’ll explore what play is and how it can benefit your life. We’ll also discover the practices and strategies that Dale used to incorporate play into his routine and turn his life around.

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    What is All Work No Play about?

    All Work No Play (2021) teaches tricks and tips for getting more happiness and joy from everyday life. This fun and practical handbook draws on play-based mindfulness strategies designed to help you improve relationships, boost mental well-being, and reconnect with your inner child. 

    Who should read All Work No Play?

    • People who want more joy from daily life
    • Anyone looking for new mindfulness strategies
    • Tired workers striving for balance

    About the Author

    Dale Sidebottom is a former PE teacher and now full-time “play” consultant for schools, companies, and organizations. He’s created countless learning and fitness enterprises, including Jugar Life, Energetic Education, and Bottoms Up Fitness. 

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