Success stories

What people are saying:

I highly recommend Marijke's Working in Flow coaching program. I had been struggling with overwhelm, as well as an enormous problem of being easily distracted and not being able to focus on any task for too long. From our very first session, Marijke provided me with valuable insights that helped me understand the root of my overwhelm, distraction, and lack of focus.

Working in Flow provided me with a variety of valuable ideas and tools, including strategies for prioritizing tasks, techniques for overcoming where I leak time, and methods for improving my energy management. Marijke was super knowledgeable, patient and supportive throughout the coaching process, and I felt that she truly cared about my success.

What I appreciated most about working with Marijke was that she didn't just give me generic advice or quick fixes, but instead provided helpful workbooks that allowed me to put what I learned into practice. Her tools and techniques have been a tremendous help, and I am now able to stay on track and remain focused on my goals.

Thank you, Marijke!

Gale Lennard, USA

I was at the end of my PHD.
A period of hard work. My working habits consisted of working and studying from 9 am until midnight, doing lots of things at the same time, running from meeting to meeting, from one lab to another, literally running between 3 floors, and keep reading and writing in between it all. I was able to hold on to these habits for more than 3 years!

And then -out of nowhere- I couldn’t anymore.
That morning I had an appointment with 3 students, and I wasn’t able to focus on their questions. Not even when I tried really heard. I just could not focus on what they were telling me. I could not proceed anymore. I felt overheated, like my body was boiling, my blood pressure was increasing, and I felt totally stressed out. It was not normal, and I didn’t understand what was happening.

Now I know why
My brain and body stopped me. But then I had no clue what was going on. What was wrong with me?

My own professor was not in the office because he was burnout. That was the example I had for overworking and working really hard!
Luckily another professor took over. I told her what was going on and that I was also afraid of developing a burnout.

The professor asked me if I was open for some professional coaching. I had never thought about it before and if they had not offered it to me, I would never be thinking about that!  I am so happy that I did take the help, because it changed my life!

Within a few days I had a meeting with Marijke Hoekstra.
After meeting her I immediately knew we had a good connection to be able to work together, so I started the coaching program.

Marijke was communicating in a way that I felt understood and heard.
I felt safe and could really open up. She understood me. That was so important to me. I decided to go for it. All in.  Because I really wanted to be helped.

The process with Marijke was very smooth
Everything was nicely prepared. Exercises were integrated between the meetings. That helped me a lot to grow and to build up some knowledge.

The structure she uses first established some background that helped me understand what was going on: Who I am, what kind of difficulties I face, what I was doing to cope with that. That really helped me to get awareness of the problems that were going on. It also helped me to learn how to do things differently.

The exercises helped a lot! Everything was so real, and I could really implement the advice in my work and my life.

I noticed the difference and change very quickly!
I learned how I could prevent myself from being exhausted. How I not only could feel satisfaction with the results of my professional work, but also experience the fun of it.

Now I know I can do a lot in my workday with the same results and the same sense of fulfillment in my professional life, but with much more time and energy left to also do other important things as well. Like walking outside, having proper lunches, have free time in the evening with my wife, and still achieve great results at work. There is so much more balance now.

I learned a lot
Like only do one thing at the same time.No more multitasking!

And I always had an agenda, but before the agenda was filled with other people’s priorities. The timeslot is free, so we can meet. I was allowing others to fill my agenda and then didn’t have the time for my actual work. Now I first ask myself “What are my priorities?” and fill my agenda with my priorities first.

I don’t check my email all day long anymore. I block time for mail, and close Outlook after that. Now it is less time consuming and I finish quicker.

I have time to read now. Before I had no time to do all the reading I had to do. But now I have 2 hours every day, to use for reading, thinking time, watch webinars or videos.

Another useful habit is that I take notes about what I want to do tomorrow, at the end of every day. It helps me plan and organize the next day. Now I don’t think about all my to do’s in the middle of the night anymore.

I was never told before how to be successful in a professional life.
You start at your masters, then your PHD, you just work hard. You don’t get support in how to structure your days, how to take good care of yourself in the process. How to work in a healthy way. That was missing!

Nobody got this! You only know how to work hard!

I am from a Turkish background, and all I learned was to work hard and a lot. All the time. So that was what I did. I kept working and working. If I wanted to be successful, this was the only way. I felt I had no choice.

It played out to be really easy to adapt the things I learned from Marijke. It was easy to implement in my life. It was lifechanging. Now I have new habits, I feel I have more control over my day, and it is super motivating to apply the things I’ve learned into my day and see the immediate effects.

Everyone should learn this!

PHD-students, but everyone really. This is very important for everyone to learn! It can be applied by everyone.

This is exactly what new employees need as well! If companies would have their new employees take this program, it would be so helpful! You’ll find your way in working healthy, instead of struggling. Now I know what to do and I am sure in the future it wil not harm me anymore.

I want to be the example for my students
If I hadn’t learned how to master my days in a healthy way and kept working as I did, I would have been sick. Or I would be a professor giving the same example as I got: Letting my students worry the way I used to worry: ‘Did I do enough? Is he impressed?’ I always felt the stress of performing well enough. Wanting to impress my professor.

I want to be able to give another example to my students. And now I can.

Change is possible!

Yigitcan Uzun, Professor at University of Eindhoven