How to work (and live) well - 2023

About the session

“What got you here won’t get you there.” Successful completion of your doctorate may well require you to stop taking some aspects of your existing ways of working for granted. Working habits tend to accrete in haphazard ways, especially when we’re under pressure, and it’s easy for them to survive far longer than the benefits they offer to us or our work. Happily, the open expanses of unstructured time that doctoral research involves are a great context in which to create and experiment with habits that work better. They’re also, because of this lack of structure, a time in which it often becomes urgent to do so—if you don’t create good structures that work for you now, things will probably go wrong.

In this session, you’ll turn a critical eye on your own routines and be introduced to ways of optimizing them. You’ll reflect on the multiple roles your life involves and how these give rise to goals that matter to you, which in turn shape how you direct your time and energy into specific tasks and activities. You’ll explore the distinction between urgency and importance and what that means for how you spend your time. You’ll join the dots between daily and weekly levels of tasks and projects, and your goals and roles for the PhD and beyond. The session will also include an excursion into feelings of academic failure and and impostor syndrome how to reject or transform them.

The facilitator Dr Emily Troscianko is a coach, writer, and researcher with expertise in cognitive and health humanities, consciousness studies, eating disorders, and behaviour change. She also designed and ran the Baillie Gifford Writing Partnerships Programme, an academic writing programme for the Humanities at Oxford.


This event takes place on Zoom, and places are limited to 20. By booking a place, you agree to attend the 3-hour session in full, and to be free of phone, email, and social media throughout (including the break), to protect your ability to focus on the work we do together. If you need to be contactable in case of emergency, please let us know in advance. If you have any questions about the event, please contact

To register

Please register to attend via Inkpath, by 2 November 2023.