In this week’s episode we chat again about creative burnout. This is a serious issue we’ve covered right about at the start of this podcast and it’s something that still impacts all of us today. We share what has been working for us as well as sharing our ongoing struggles with creative burnout, to try and help all of you out listening at home.

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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1:00] Today we are taking another look at burnout for creatives
[1:45] Ian couldn’t take part in this week’s podcast as he is busy taking part in a YouTube event
[3:00] Lisa feels burnout closer to the end of the year and she mentions she had a hectic year
[3:50] She had a look at this year and realised that she has achieved a lot
[4:30] Most people are not in the habit of doing this
[5:15] Lisa struggles with taking time off and not thinking about work
[5:50] Dustin realised that the business can run without him in the office
[6:30] Doing a lot of things you think are needed, even though they aren’t, can result in burnout
[7:45] While working at the bank, Dustin would not think about work at all during his weekends
[8:30] The habit of spending equal amount time working on jobs, with some jobs bringing more results than others
[9:00] Dustin asks Tom and Lisa what is the work that brings lots of results and what doesn’t bring any
[9:40] Lisa could save lots of time doing a tutorial, instead of replying to her customers individually
[10:30] Tom thinks of the amount of time spent on putting a product page together
[10:50] For him time could be better spent in fostering a partnership which could have a significant impact on the business
[11:45] Dustin thinks the time spent thinking about the best email subject line or product colours could be better used
[12:40] Lisa spent hours fine tuning her latest product
[13:10] Sometimes you just have to make a decision and move on
[14:10] It’s easy to get lost in choosing a colour for your characters and feeling your productive
[14:50] Lisa had to draw a diving giraffe for a client and the other hosts tease her about her work
[15:30] Most designers struggle with finding work
[16:30] ‘Being self-employed feels like you’re running on multiple treadmills’ – Tom Ross
[17:00] Dustin feels the pressure will never ease off
[18:00] Lisa would like to utilise every day to its fullest and this results in putting a lot of pressure on herself
[19:00] She doesn’t find value in the relaxation time and would rather spend her time improving her illustration skills
[20:00] Tom’s quote from Instagram – ‘Busy is a choice’
[21:00] Dustin talks about some designers always being in front of a computer
[22:00] And others who are not, but they live their life and still able to create
[22:40] Downtime is beneficial – what you discover during this time will be injected into your work
[24:00] Lisa enjoys her life outside design but she’s not choosing her downtime as she should
[25:00] Tom’s desire to get back to work after a couple of days off being ill
[26:00] The fear you get if you’re not creating or sharing something on social media for a couple of days
[27:00] Tom’s insane work schedule of 80h per week when he first started Design Cuts
[27:40] This resulted in him feeling burned out quite often and even ending up in hospital after continuing this work schedule for a year
[28:00] Look for the warning signs – is this turning into a cycle? Are other starting to notice this too?
[28:50] The more work you put in the harder it is to stop
[29:30] The example of Paul Jarvis taking months off at time
[30:10] There’s always going to be a reason you tell yourself you can’t stop working
[30:40] Lisa feels that her work never stops – after she has completed a project there is always something else that she needs to do
[31:15] Dustin suggests tricking your brain into thinking that downtime is like maintenance work on your car
[32:10] The hosts are trying to convince Lisa to take this Sunday off
[33:15] Everyone is craving crepes and the designers laugh at the idea of the a Honest Designers Cooking Show
[34:00] The struggle with the fact that being burned out is self-inflicted
[34:40] Losing the enjoyment of doing what you love
[35:50] Tom suggests taking a step back and seeing what has been achieved
[36:30] Think of what you would tell your best friend if they were experiencing your struggle with work
[37:30] Dustin struggled with panic attacks and had to see a therapist which reminded him to do this exercise daily
[38:10] 1 in 4 people are currently experiencing health issues
[38:45] Lisa also experienced panic attacks before she got where she is today
[40:00] Tom remembers Lisa being more stressed at the beginning of the Honest Designer show
[40:30] The hosts are much happier with their life and feel more relaxed now
[41:00] Lisa loves what she does and doesn’t find value in not doing anything
[42:30] She used to have daily panic attacks
[42:50] Lisa came a long way since then and now she’s putting herself out there with the podcast
[44:00] She surrounds herself with cute illustrations and created a magical world to be in
[45:00] The hosts tips: listen to yourself and the people around you and make a change
[45:30] if you’re struggling with this please get in touch, via or any of our social media channels and we will be more than happy to help in any way we can
[46:00] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode

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