Sharing a presentation on the science of wellbeing and productivity

Overview: There are different ways to look at the journey of improving mental health, wellbeing and productivity. In this post I share a PowerPoint presentation I gave to ECR a while back. There might be something of value for you in there. Reading time (post) ~ 2 minutes. Reading time (presentation) ~ 30 minutes. 

A while back I did a presentation for early career researchers (ECR). These are individuals who are less than 10 years post-PhD.

They are some seriously impressive individuals. I’m 15 years post-PhD but most of these people absolutely wipe the floor with me.

So I was naturally a little intimidated to speak to them.

I agonised over the presentation I gave them. I wanted to showcase the different perspectives on mental health, wellbeing and productivity that I’d encountered over my career, share the methods I use to look after my wellbeing and talk to a few ECR specific challenges.

The resultant presentation was a bit rambling and probably not my finest work.

That being said, I really enjoyed the presentation, felt warmly received and the experience lit a fire under me that is responsible for the presentation I am currently building at the moment.

Fast forward a couple of months and I still hadn’t shared the slides with the participants. I wanted to adjust them, change them, narrate them, expand them. I ended up in that procrastination/perfectionism paradox where you are dedicated to providing something of real value and high quality, but make absolutely no progress on it at all.

Amused at falling for the kind of trap that I typically teach on, I eventually sat down with the presentation and put a narrative into each of the slide note sections.

In doing so, I realised that, whilst the presentation wasn’t quite to desired spec, I had covered a lot of the territory I wanted to.

With the slides freshly updated, I wanted to share them more widely.

Whilst this presentation will give way to the one I am building now (tentatively called 12 things), it still contains many important ideas that I’ve grappled with along the way.

Although it is written for ECR, I suspect it has (some) value for anyone working in the academic sector.

You can download it from:

It is best to download and open in PowerPoint so you can read the notes section.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to email me –

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