Can Essential Oils Help With Productivity?
Most of us will have used the phrase “there’s simply not enough hours in the day” at some time in the past.
It’s a consequence of the feeling we get when we have way too much to do. And we all know how that feels.
We have to sometimes accept that X, Y, and Z won’t be completed by the deadline, but in many cases if we could just improve our productivity in a sustainable way, we would be able to fulfill all these obligations.
While we’re at it, it would be especially good if we could also reduce the number of silly mistakes we make which cause us to waste so much precious time too!
And I’m not just talking about productivity at work. Just think about the hectic pace we operate at in our daily lives checking the relentless torrent of emails and tweets, replying to friends on Facebook, and generally getting stressed in case we miss something important. All this, whilst we’re multitasking half a dozen important jobs too.
So how can we improve our productivity when most of us feel like we’re already working flat out? There are of course lots of productivity tips and tricks people use, from doing short but vigorous exercise in the morning, through to awakening to certain sounds meant to stimulate the brain.
However, essential oils have been proven to be an effective tool to produce a boost in productivity, and a big advantage with this is that the oils can be delivered to more than one person at the same time – great news for bosses everywhere!
How do essential oils improve productivity?
Aroma is one of the most powerful sense-memory simulators and can also have positive effects on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, which of course all support productivity. Researchers in Japan previously discovered that lemon essential oil was an effective aroma when rooms were scented with its fragrance 54 per cent fewer typing errors were made by employees who worked with computers.
Jasmine aroma reduced typing errors by 33 per cent and lavender lowered errors by 20 per cent. As typing errors have a negative effect on productivity in many professions, this is significant and suggests that by using certain essential oils in a vaporiser or diffuser in an office, output and accuracy can be increased.
Other studies have also demonstrated the effects of certain chemical constituents in essential oils for altering mood and improving physical health. Linalool is known to reduce stress, for example, which creates mental clarity and allows individuals to focus on the task at hand.
Alternatively, essential oils can be used to treat physical conditions, such as muscle pain, sinus issues, and stomach complaints, at times when individuals aren’t functioning at their full capacity. By combating these issues through established and proven aromatherapy techniques, performance can be improved as a consequence.
Focusing on physical and mental health
For those trying to improve accuracy and productivity, the most important thing to remember is that it is linked to physical and mental wellbeing. If your mind is clear and you’re not ill, you’re in a much better position to complete tasks efficiently and to a high standard.
This is because you have more energy and are not distracted by other problems. And this is a good example of the mind-body connection. When the body is not hampered by illness the brain works efficiently with the distraction of pain etc. The reverse is also true in that when your head is clear and your mood is good, your body feels good too. A win-win situation, if there ever was one.
Which essential oils promote productivity?
To improve productivity using essential oils, you first need to determine if you have a problem to address such as stress for example, or whether you simply need a mood booster to lift up your spirits or help to focus your attention. If you have an underlying issue that is lowering your performance, then you just need to identify the problem and find the essential oils and method to deal with it.
Here are some essential oils that can be used to create focus and increase your productivity:
Lemon – This is a zesty essential oil that is known to clear and sharpen the mind. Lemon essential oil has a lovely fresh uplifting aroma that is great both in an office environment and at home.
Lavender – The benefit of this oil is that it contains linalool, which has been shown to reduce stress in clinical trials. This means it’s a great choice for high pressure environments where a calming atmosphere would work best for improving productivity.
Cinnamon – An effective stimulant, cinnamon is another essential oil that is used for stimulating attention and alertness. A great oil to use when driving long distances.
Rosemary – This oil is another stimulant but is also used for treating headaches, mental fatigue, and physical exhaustion. Consequently, it’s a great all-purpose aroma for solving every-day productivity drains. Avoid use of rosemary essential oil if you suffer from epilepsy.
Peppermint – When you need a quick pick-me-up, peppermint essential oil is the perfect choice as it is a well known oil for reviving tired, jaded minds. It’s also a good oil to have handy for clearing blocked sinuses, which we all know can seriously dull the brain!
How to use the oils
The easiest way to use essential oils to improve productivity is via a vaporiser or diffuser. Simply put a few drops of the oil of choice in the device and let the room fill with its aroma. This is a great technique for ensuring everyone in a workspace can enjoy the benefits. Just be sure to get everyone’s approval first!
Alternatively, dilute four or five drops of essential oil to 10ml of a carrier oil or lotion and dab onto the wrists and neck. This will keep the aroma more localised and make it a more personal experience. If you’re the only one with productivity issues in a communal area this is probably the best technique.
When you are out and about and need a quick boost, put a few drops of your essential oil on a piece of tissue or a handkerchief, and gently inhale, keeping the material at a safe distance from the skin.
Remember that it’s important to be clear about what your problem is, balanced against the result that you want to achieve with the aromatherapy treatment. For instance, if a head cold is causing you to be unproductive you may want to do a steam inhalation with the essential oils before you start work.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2015. Written by Geoff Lyth