About one in three PhDs decide not to finish their PhD. These decisions aren’t taken lightly. And sometimes they aren’t taken at all, and you might keep plodding along even though you have come to the conclusion you’d rather not, because there is tremendous pressure to finish. Once you have started you have to ‘keep going’, or so it seems. Because now it is ‘too late’ to stop. Quitting means failure. You didn’t ‘make it’, and everyone will judge you for it… it won’t look good. I have a question for you: what if quitting your PhD could be an [...]Read More
What if you could sit down at your computer every morning, click open your documents, and have your work simply flow? Maybe academic work can’t be quite that effortless, but there are simple things you can do to increase the odds of focus and flow happening. First point to note is that focus doesn’t happen spontaneously. It requires the right conditions. Ironically, academic culture with its insistence on working long (and even longer if you can!) linear days does not foster these conditions. Working past the point of diminishing returns is how our energy dwindles and focus is lost, and [...]Read More
Academia has a terrible effort-reward balance. This matters. Research shows that we get super-stressed when effort and reward are out of balance. Day to day there are very few wins or encouragements, and feedback, as we know, centers on criticism. Useful, and necessary criticism (in the best case), but it doesn't exactly make you feel good. The rewards take an incredibly long time to manifest. We’re talking months or years before we have a new shiny publication… A friend of mine remarked: ‘and by that time you are so done with it you never want to lay eyes on the [...]Read More
It’s time for a giveaway! To celebrate the launch of the Stress-Free PhD Programme, I have two free spots up for grabs for the first round of the programme which starts June 11th. I am so excited this moment has finally come, I’ve been working on this for about a year, behind the scenes. Almost as slow as academic work!! But today’s the day, and the programme is finished and ready to go. I’m hoping to see fewer burnouts and PhD slumps, and more PhDs finished well within the time-frame (OK, Just In Time will also do!), and with more [...]Read More
I am so excited my new website is finally ready! You won’t believe the work that went into creating it (There is an entirely new 6-week online programme I am very proud of. Check it out here…) One page that didn’t need much tweaking was the ‘My Story’ page, where I tell you all about how this blog, the online course and the coaching biz came into being. My personal tale is so interwoven with what I do now. The PhD is now so far away, yet so present day to day! I was taken aback when I re-read my [...]Read More
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed? You are not alone! Recent studies in Leiden, Amsterdam, as well as in Flanders and the US show that about half (!!) of PhD students experience psychological distress. Troubling figures. I was invited to give a talk at Prout’s PhD mental health symposium in Utrecht on how to cope with the high-stress environment academia has become, and how to write a stress-free PhD. In this talk I cover: - The studies showing alarming PhD mental health figures - Why this is a collective problem and has little to do with your capability/ suitability for [...]Read More
Use the ZenAcademic worksheet to create your optimal workday. It will help you focus, prioritise, and get work done. It will also help you balance the stresses of academic life. Self-care included!
Leave your email to download the worksheet.