How to Finish Your PhD

Out now in paperback and ebook editions

Are you stuck in your PhD? Is progress imperceptible to the naked eye? You’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and there’s no clear path. The more you worry, the less work you get done; the less work that gets done, the more you worry: it’s a vicious cycle. With the help of this practical book, you’ll take a new approach to your thesis.

I’ve coached thousands of PhD students through to the finish line. I also managed to complete my own PhD when it seemed vanishingly unlikely. Some people breeze through their PhD, knowing exactly what they’re doing and never giving their supervisor a moment’s worry. That probably isn’t you. For most of us it’s tough – that’s why relatively few people get to call themselves Doctor. It’s hard, but not impossible. I want to help make it possible for you.

I’ll help you understand why you’re stuck and what you can do about it. By the end of the book,  you’ll have the clarity and confidence you need to finish your PhD. Together, we’ll create an action plan that’s right for you. Each chapter includes activities and downloadable resources.

You won’t find anything about theory, methodologies, or epistemologies here. There are plenty of other books on how to write a PhD – this book is on how to finish it. Take a look at the outline below to see what we’ll cover.

How to Buy 

How to Finish Your PhD is available in paperback and ebook editions. You can order through your favourite online retailer or independent bookstore. The ebook edition is available through Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and all the other major channels. If you’d like to buy in bulk for your students (20+ copies), please contact me for discounts or any other queries.

ISBN: 978-1838242909

Cover of How to Finish Your PhD


Introduction (read for free)

1. What’s the Purpose of a PhD?

  • Why are you doing a PhD? (I’ll help you remember)
  • What on earth is a thesis, anyway?
  • How can you set some limits and avoid doing too much?

2. Getting Ready to Do Things Differently

  • Forgetting the past and focusing on the future
  • Adopting a growth mindset
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome and defeating your inner critic

3. Making a Plan

  • You’re the project manager!
  • Who’s on your team?
  • What needs to happen and when?
  • Anticipating problems and solving them in advance
  • Breaking everything down into more manageable chunks

4. Working with Your Supervisor

  • What type of supervision do you need?
  • Managing the supervisory relationship
  • Resolving conflict
  • Agreeing plans with your supervisor
  • Soliciting effective feedback

5. Managing Competing Priorities

  • Understanding your circle of control
  • Managing your time effectively
  • Saying no
  • Choosing the best time to write
  • Looking after your health

6. Becoming a More Productive Writer

  • Protecting your writing time
  • Finding the right place to work
  • Improving focus and eliminating distractions
  • Making writing easier for yourself
  • Defeating procrastination

6. Building Routines and Keeping Going

  • Meeting your monkey sidekick
  • Creating startup and shutdown routines
  • Developing good habits
  • Measuring progress
  • Avoiding perfectionism

7. Getting Ready for Submission

  • Thinking about your examiners
  • Breaking down the editing process
  • How much time do you need for editing?
  • Knowing when to stop
  • Your submission checklist