Home 2018-05-22T10:16:44+00:00

If you’re writing a PhD you have come to the right place!

I’m Amber Davis and I’m on a mission to make PhD stress a thing of the past. I believe productivity and self-care go hand in hand, especially so in the academic world. I teach an online programme and provide coaching to help you increase your productivity and boost your wellbeing.

Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed and behind, and are spending long days staring at your screen without making much progress. Perhaps you are unsure whether your work is ‘good enough’, and ‘far enough ahead’ (whatever that means). Maybe you are stuck with a particular chapter or article. There are always difficult stretches along the way. It is part of the process.

The Stress-Free PhD 6-Week Programme to the rescue! It will help you optimise your work routines and write your PhD (almost) effortlessly. Join me for 6 weeks of focus, productivity and self-care.

While you are here you can also read the blog, download the ZenAcademic Worksheet, and check out the other free resources.

I’m delighted you’ve found your way here. Let’s create a fulfilling academic life and let’s get some work done…

Hello, I’m Amber Davis. Let me help you write a more inspired, productive and happier PhD. Get started right now! Get access to my free resources including the ZenAcademic Worksheet by leaving your email below.

Create a superfocused workday with the ZenAcademic Worksheet!



The Stress-Free PhD

Does your PhD need a boost? What if focus became a habit, and you could leave worry and PhD guilt behind? In this six-week course we will be developing essential productivity and self-care habits for a stress-free PhD.

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Coaching Sessions

Feeling stressed, demotivated, or overwhelmed? Maybe your progress has come to a halt. Difficult stretches happen to everyone on the PhD path. I offer Skype coaching sessions to work it through.

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Finding Your
Academic Voice

My e-book Finding Your Academic Voice covers all the familiar topics: developing your core argument, research design, using the literature, finding your place in the field, the writing process. It just does it differently.

Get your copy


The Nudge

Does your academic workday seem to be never-ending? It doesn’t have to be this way. You can work shorter hours, get more done and feel better too. Sign up to receive a week of free daily email guidance to shorten your workday.

Get started!



Worried about deadlines? Try this.

“Is there any point in having a deadline? I have tried so many times, but failed to meet them, so I stopped. Then again, I feel like I miss having a deadline as it may motivate me to focus more.” The short answer: deadlines are useful until they are not. The main use of deadlines is to set an end point. It helps focus the mind, it gives you a shot of adrenalin in the run-up to the set date which helps us get stuff done. It also allows you to draw a line: academic work is never finished so [...]

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Quitting your PhD doesn’t make you a quitter

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 [...]

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Six Steps to Create a Super Focused Workday

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 [...]

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Feeling stressed to the max? Five tips to help you cope

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 [...]

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ZenAcademic Worksheet

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.