The run up to Christmas is a super-busy time of year for makers and this year I for one am pretty work out. I don’t want to feel like this again next year so I’m planning ahead!

The no more December burn-out plan is launched.

1. Don’t move house or take on and big stress projects

2. Spread the work

  • build up retail stock earlier & develop a stock storage system
  • increase wholesale
  • inspired by my accountant I am also looking at ways to run the business in ways that suit me and using incentives to encourage others to sign up

3. Increase personal resilience

  • for this one I am looking at limiting the total number of days I work in a year to keep space for rest and social activities as well as non-financial creative stuff. There’ll still be more worknig days in Nov/Dec but then less at other times so that there is a better balance overall
  • weekly walks and swims
  • getting help

4. Develop work I can be confident in

  • i’ve had some technical issues in the last month and want to get these sorted so they don’t recur at an inopportune moment
  • i want to experiment with single colour pieces
  • try some less time-consuming bowl designs
  • carry on improving throwing skills, maybe do a master class?
  • I also want to develop some bigger items such as teapots and serving platters as well as more creative one-off pieces

5. Increase sales in other months

  • apply for shows across the year
  • check out trade shows with a view to applying next year
  • sell those higher value pieces

Some of the points will only be relevant to me and I’m sharing mainly to encourage myself commit to the plan. But if you’d like to take up some of it too that would be great. Conversely if you have found other ways of banishing burn-out from your life I’d love to hear about it.


Whilst flicking about the internet looking for images I came across a couple of articles suggesting that burnout was not simply about working too much, but rather about giving out more than you are receiving and about resenting what working hard is causing you to miss. so a late addition to this version of the plan is:

6. Attend to balance and priorities

  • find ways to receive what is needed in order to be able to keep giving out
  • identify what is too important to miss – and structure work so that it doesn’t get in the way

6 thoughts on “Banishing burn-out

    • Hi Jo,
      Good to hear from you. Have you tried anything that does help in this annual cycle of over-busyness??

      This is my first time round so soaking up ideas from everywhere.

  1. jane – I deeply sympathise. I’ve been trying to make myself take 20 days holiday a year, without feeling guilty, or at least have a day off in the week if I work the weekend. Not very successfully yet, so I think I’m going to have to have a jar of tokens – one in for every weekend-day worked, one out for a day off. Then at least I can see that I need time off! (hmmm already thinking… I could make the tokens in clay….)

  2. Thanks Carys, it’s good to hear from others in the same boat.

    I like your token idea, good to take it tangible/visible for us hands-on types. I shall be pondering something similar…

  3. I love that idea of day off tokens! I’d need half-tokens for evenings too. Keeping a balance is incredibly difficult and not one I’ve got the hang of yet in 8.5 years of doing this. Luckily for me though, December isn’t any busier than the rest of the year, possibly less busy because of not making products.
    Great list that you have done though Jane, good luck on achieving them. I’m intrigued by your accountant comment in 2.

    I’m also a big believer in getting help – I have admin help and an assistant tutor as well as taking work experience students to help.

    • Hi Ruth,
      Yes I enjoyed confessing to being inspired by my accountant – it’s a surprising sounding statement. Basically he doesn’t like the stress of having to do last minute accounts so he charges extra for it. Being allowed to do idiosyncratic charging that allowed for my own preferences definitely appealed. I haven’t quite worked out how to do it yet but…

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