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  • Alis Hâf

Six ways to stay creative

Sometimes people will ask me how I stay creative. Working both a full time job and then freelancing in the evenings and on weekends, you might think I get burned out a lot but in fact it's the opposite. I have the best of both, and the balance of my full time job and then the creativity my design work allows me, ensures that I can keep on top of my tasks and stay motivated to do both. But that being said I do have some tips which I make sure I follow so that I can continue to be creative for long periods of time.

  1. Coffee. Coffee. And more coffee. I live off caffeine. Ive never been a tea drinker so from my teens I was drinking Americanos, and yes for me that's the only way to go unless you want to go one step further and drink Espressos as I've never been a fan of dairy either. So for me a black coffee or a mocha to mask the taste of milk was the way for me. My friends might say I have a high tolerance for coffee because sometimes it might seems as though my ratio fo coffee to water does skew one way but there's something about the first cup of coffee in the morning that just boosts my creativity. Throughout the day I'll help myself to maybe a few more cups or an iced coffee if I'm feeling really fancy but for me this is one of the key things that keeps my motivated and creative. The power of caffeine works!

  2. And then hand in hand with that... you've guessed it Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! Drinking coffee can lead to dehydration so it's always recommended you drink at least one cup of coffee to one cup of water. Usually if I'm working at a desk then using a water bottle helps to keep me on top of how much water I'm drinking and whenever I don't stay hydrated I really do feel tired and uncreative.

  3. A good music playlist is key. I am someone who without music to focus I can get really distracted which means when I'm at my most creative I most always have my headphones on and my Design Studio playlist playing. Dancing to the playlist also helps!

  4. Relax. Make sure you have a good balance between work and play. I schedule out regular breaks during my work day and then also afterwards when I've finished my work day before I set out with design work I make sure to have a few minutes to myself to relax, read a few pages of a book, listen to a podcast or take a walk to make sure I am able to recharge and boost my creativity. If there's activities like meeting friends or brunch with my family I makes rue to schedule it in so that I know in advance what my week is looking like and when I can sit down and work.

  5. Use a to do list. It might sound as though it will suck the creativity out of you but having a to do list of tasks you need to get through will help keep you on top of your work but also make sure you keep focus for each by setting a time limit on the task at hand. This way you also have short bursts of creativity so you won't be creatively drained.

  6. Work on your own projects too. Most of my design time is spent working on paid jobs, but I always try and make sure I spend some time on my own personal projects to makes sure I'm working on designs and ideas that really connect with me. I will usaully only work with clients who I feel match my values and goals but theres always sometimes where I just need a few minutes away from the paid work. So for a creative pick me up I might dip into a lettering project or perhaps doodle on Procreate.

So my six tips really help me get through the work week working full time and freelancing and hopefully they can help others too. Let me know if you also use any of these tips to stay creative and if you're interested in any of my design processes and behind the scenes then follow me on Instagram for more tips and insights into the branding process exclusives!

alishaf96@gmail.com​