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September 26, 2018 3 min read

The holidays are approaching which means that your maker shop could get very busy, very soon. The holidays are exciting for Artisan Born makers who appreciate the increase in sales. But the holidays can also create stress for makers, too. Fortunately, other makers have been in this position, so you get to benefit from their experiences without having to undergo them yourself. Keep reading to find out how to keep your cool during busy times.

1. Step Away From the Stress

If stress becomes an issue, one of the first things that you can do is take a little break. Filling orders and completing projects on time is important. But you cannot do these things well if you are suffering from too much stress. If you need a break, take one, even if it is only for a few minutes. If you get overwhelmed with the business of being in business, step away and do something that you enjoy. Do some stretches, drink some coffee, watch a favorite TV show, eat something delicious, crank up your tunes and dance, or go for a drive. Find something that will get you calmed down and refreshed, so you can put your heart and soul into your art.

2. Create a Punch List

One of the best ways to manage stress is to actually see what you need to complete. Stress can exaggerate reality, so instead of thinking about what you have to do, write it down. With a simple punch list of tasks and deadlines, you can get out your head and get to work. Your written list might be shorter than the stress-list in your head. Once you’ve got your list written down, add deadlines so you can clearly see what you should do in what order. Write the list, don’t type it on your computer. It is incredibly rewarding when you get to cross off tasks with a big permanent marker.

3. Enjoy the Journey

As a maker, this is what you’ve signed up for. You want people to buy your work. To sell your work, you have to make it. Consider the struggles you’ve had to get your work in front of people. After that hard work, you might not want to calm the stress. Figure out how to channel the stress to turn it into something positive. Like art, you can apply perspective to stress, especially if there is some adrenaline involved. Take that stress and adrenaline and use it to get making. You might find that a little bit of stress actually helps you get the job done successfully.

4. Find a Helper

Part of the stress of being a maker is the administrative tasks of running a small business. You shouldn’t enlist someone to help you make your products. But, you can get someone to help you with administrative tasks. A responsible friend can do your packing and shipping, social media posting, or invoicing and billing. These tedious tasks can become overwhelming and they can quickly move an artist out of the zone. Manage what you can, but don’t be afraid to barter with a friend if it helps keep you calm so you can focus on your art. What helps you stay calm in the busy season? Share your tips with your fellow makers.