Work-Life Balance in Academia

In academia you encounter many competing demands on your time and effort from teaching, research, getting funding etc. Moreover there is also the fierce competition and the uncertainty about contracts or career opportunities. And you have work that is never finished. In this kind of environment finding balance is challenging! So if you don’t feel balanced that is certainly not your fault.

Work-life balance can feel daunting or even impossible when working in academia
Maybe you think you should become better at time management or become more efficient. But you probably are good at this already. Still you don’t feel balanced. Maybe you think that a poor work-life balance is just is part of what it means to work in academia.

And although in this kind of greedy work environment finding balance is no easy feat, it is certainly possible to feel balanced! (and it is not about time management or efficiency.)

I can help you to feel more balanced and be really effective at the same time.

You don’t have to do this alone!

I can help you with dilemmas, doubts and questions like:

  • I feel torn between my deep need to make a meaningful contribution with my work and being a good mother/father/partner to my loved ones.
  • I often feel depleted at the end of the day
  • I don’t think work-life balance is possible in academia, it is just part of being an academic, so maybe I should find another job.
  • I feel there should be more, that I should be doing more, but I’m already stretched/putting in so many hours.
  • I really love my job but I experience too much stress and work too many hours
  • Maybe I should start working less, but how will I do this with all the demands at work and the ambitions I have?
  • When I get home at night, in my mind I’m still at work. How can I really wind down? How can I be really there for myself or my partner and my children?
  • I’m afraid I’m heading towards a burnout
  • Because of all the pressure and long hours I sometimes feel disillusioned in my work
  • I shouldn’t complain,  I have a good job, I’m good at what I do, and I have a good life!  But deep down there is this nagging feeling: is this all? You long for more energy and joy in your life.

In academia you are used to figuring a lot of things out on your own. But you don’t have to struggle with your work-life balance alone. During this coaching trajectory I’ll help you take back the steering wheel of your work-life balance. 

Take back the steering wheel of your work-life balance

During this coaching trajectory...

I will offer you practical tools and strategies that you can put to use immediately and 

will help you feel balanced and be effective at the same time

I will help you to get clear on what really matters to you and 

making choices that fit what you find important.

You will learn to incorporate conscious selfcare practices in your day

 (that demand little time but have a big impact).

Tuned to your busy life, your questions, your dilemma’s and your needs!

I am Samula Mescher. I believe that every moment of choice is a chance to take one step closer to what really suits you. Making choices that really suit who you are and what you want out of life while taking good care of yourself, creates light, joy and energy in your life! Daily selfcare and making choices with your heart and your head will enable you to make a difference, to really make your unique contribution to this world and feel balanced at the same time!

I really know from experience what science asks of you

A former academic myself, I know from experience what academia asks of you.  I obtained my PhD on the topic of work-life balance in 2011 and I have worked in academia for 11 years. During this period I became a mother twice, juggled motherhood with my ambitions, and in the end I felt that academia no longer suited what I wanted out of life.  I also know from experience what balance and imbalance feel like. While working in academia I suffered a burnout from working too long on willpower instead of joy and ignoring my boundaries for too long. In my coaching I bring my personal experiences with balance and imbalance; my research on work-life balance and what I learned from coaching different people on finding a healthy work life balance. I also bring over 13 years of experience in many different work environments (as a consultant, a policy advisor, HR advisor and entrepreneur). This rich background enables me to help you feel balanced while really making the contribution you want to make both at work and at home.

How would it be to

Enjoy your work and your family instead of feeling stretched and depleted

To feel energized at the end of your workday

Have practical tools and steps in your toolbox to feel balanced and have more impact

Feel supported in this process

Live your ambitions, make the contribution you long for and to feel balanced at the same time

Work-Life Balance in Academia Coaching Trajectory 

Work-Life Balance in Academia is an individual coaching trajectory completely tuned to you. To your specific questions, your specific needs and your specific situation. It consists of:

  • 8 individual coaching sessions (by telephone/Zoom)
  • Questions and assignments you will work on between coaching sessions.
  • Practical tools and practices that you can put to use immediately
  • Unlimited support through email during the trajectory

Note: I know how busy your are and that you are already stretched for time. So all tools and assignments are really suited to a busy life.  They are designed to have maximum impact with a limited time investment.


You are a scientist and you are committed to really work actively on your questions and barriers. You are willing to stretch your comfort zone and really investigate and try out new things or new behavior. You are ready to get behind the steering wheel of your life!

Is this you? Then I would really love to work with you.


Coaching sessions can be done through Zoom or telephone. Which means you can do the sessions from the convenience of your home, workplace or anywhere you feel comfortable. No travel time needed. Sessions can be done in Dutch or English.  

"Samula is not only an expert on work-life balance challenges, but she also offers practical tools that I can use immediately in my daily work at the university. I have experienced the benefits of this noticeably both in the ‘work domain and in the ‘life’ domain. Also, Samula has a very pleasant manner. Looking forward to more of this! Thank you, Samula"

Marieke, assitant professor

"In an inspiring way Samula helps you in finding your own work-life balance. She gives diverse helpful tips that are easy to implement in you daily life”

Renze Salet, assistant professor

"Before I joined Samula’s workshop on work-life balance I had zero energy after a day at work. I already had changed jobs to get more energy. This helped somewhat. The workshop taught me how to prioritize things that energize me. Before, I inclined to prioritize chores that were ‘urgent’, leaving me devoid of energy once I got to the work that I was really excited about. I apply this strategy now both at work and at home and it really works for me. I feel more in control of my career, my life. I’m doing more things that I really like to do instead of thinking ‘I have no time for this’.

Samula is sincere and involved. Work with Samula if you feel you are chronically tired/down/lacking energy because you are doing too many things in your life that drain your energy. Working with Samula offers you a chance for introspection and taking control of your life.”

Maartje Krabbe, Assistant professor

"I have participated in a workshop work-life balance as part of trainings programme for female scientists at the university. It has resulted in lasting changes in my daily routine. Like taking up volunteer work. Something I have wanted to do for a long time, but also something that I made too big (in my mind) by thinking that I should be doing this for a minimum of 1 day a week (and I cannot free up this time at this stage in my life). Samula made it really small: why can’t you do volunteer work for 2 hours a week, for example? This is what I’m doing now and it gives me the right energy. Just like the weekly walks I have taken up again as a result of the workshop. Samula has a gift for really listening to someone’s story and thinking along with you. I would definitely recommend Samula as a coach."

Lotte, assitant professor

“Thank you again, it definitely got me undertaking a reflection on my life from a new perspective, which I haven't been able to do for years.” 

Assistant professor


 Your investment: 1220 euro including VAT*). This includes 8 individual coaching sessions, assignments tailored to your specific needs, practical tools to improve balance and unlimited support and feedback through email during the trajectory. 

There are possibilities that your employer pays for (part of) your coaching. See for example what het PNN says about possibilities in the CAO. Also some universities support coaching as part of their efforts to alleviate  work-pressure and work stress.

*) This is the private rate. When your employer pays for your coaching trajectory then the employer rates apply. Please contact me for employer rates.

Something for you?

Before you say yes we explore together whether this coaching trajectory is a fit for you and what your specific wishes are with regard to the trajectory. Do you want to explore this at no cost together with me? Book your free consultation call now. Send me an email at samula or click the button below.

Your application is definite when I have received your payment.  This coaching trajectory is a product of By applying for the trajectory you declare that you understand that your commitment is necessary to get the desired results and that this is your own responsibility. You are also responsible for being able to be present during the coachingsessions and for doing the assignments. You cannot ask for a refund if you have missed a coachings session.  By applying for the coaching trajectory you give consent to these terms and conditions. 

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