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Scented Candles Can Help You Work More Effectively

Scented Candles Can Help You Work More Effectively

Scents are more powerful than you think. They can invoke almost-forgotten memories, help us avoid danger, and even get us through a busy day.

Smells are closely related with memories and action.

Ever wondered why you can hardly enjoy food when you have a cold? Were you not amazed at your nose when it detected smoke in a building? That’s because smells are closely related with memories and action.

When we pick up a scent, it is sent to the brain for processing. Cells, called neurons, then send the new scent’s information to two important parts of the brain: the olfactory bulb that identifies what it is AND the thalamus, that’s in-charge of motor function. Hence, when a coffee lover smells coffee, he or she becomes instantly alert – even without drinking the substance yet.

Today, although this sense is underappreciated, it’s one of our most effective arsenals in the following tasks:

  • Tasting food
  • Remembering certain memories
  • Aids in relaxation
  • Avoiding danger

Want to stay awake to finish an important business presentation, but you don’t want to eat or drink anything? Take advantage of your sense of smell as a great alternative. One of the most inexpensive and fastest way to do this is to light your favorite scented candles.

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Believe it or not, what we smell can even affect our productivity.

If you’re like millions of coffee lovers all over the world, just the scent of freshly ground beans is enough to perk you up. But this isn’t the ONLY scent that could help you beat that office deadline. Rosemary, lemon, mint, and cinnamon are just a few of the scents that could help us work better. Need a quick pick-me-up for a report due in three hours? If you’re not a caffeine fanatic or you don’t like aromatherapy oils, scented candles can do the trick instead.

Here’s why it works and how you can incorporate this in your workplace or home.

Tips For Using Scented Candles For Work Or At Home

You don’t need to drink coffee, rub oils on your wrists, or take medication in order to increase productivity.

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    The great thing about using scented candles is that they produce subtle scents, which are not overpowering yet effective enough to deliver the results you need. Together with your nose, you can harness their power to help you get more out of your day.

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    1. Generate Ideas with Peppermint or Cinnamon

    Need a little assistance during your brainstorming session? Stuck in a rut without new ideas for your blog? Choose a peppermint or cinnamon scented candle to stimulate your cognitive senses. According to several researches, these smells gave the brain a boost that increased alertness and memory.

    2. Stay Awake with Orange or Lemon

    It’s usually difficult to keep your eyes open halfway through the day. But you need to – especially if you still have emails to check, reports to compile, and client meetings to attend. An orange or lemon-scented candle should do the trick (opt for orange if you’re not fond of lemons). Keep it lit for about 15 to 30 minutes and let the aroma perk you up for several more hours of productivity.

    3. Calm Nerves Before a Presentation Using Jasmine

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    Speaking before a crowd can get anybody riled up. However, if a company’s reputation or an important business deal is on the line, you would want to be at your best. That means no jittery feet or sweaty hands. In this case, take advantage of nature’s “Valium”, Jasmine, to assist you in this endeavor. A good whiff of this relaxing scent has been known to not only calm nerves, but also improved confidence, optimism, and hand-eye coordination.

    4. Focus More Using Rosemary

    Mondays are tough enough without having to deal with 3PM fatigue. Make sure you submit reports on time with help from a rosemary-scented candle. The scent should help you – or your colleagues – remember deadlines, and at the same time, relieve headaches or indigestion problems. This is best used in the morning for a quick pick-me-up.

    5. Go for Orange to Persuade People

    If Jasmine was able to calm you down right before a presentation, a light orange scent in your board room should help clients be on your side during this essential moment. A 2013 study revealed that store owners as well as realtors would use simple scents to attract customers and/or put them in a good mood in order to snag sales.

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    Avoid using potpourri as these smells are too complex. Light an orange-scented candle instead to put your audiences in the right mood to agree with your ideas.

    Extra Notes

    Aside from giving a room a nice, romantic appeal, scented candles can help you succeed in various tasks – it all depends on the scent you choose. Before stocking up though, make sure roommates or colleagues are informed. If you tell them that you want to use scented candles to be more productive, they may even pitch in their favorite aromas.

    So go ahead and pick up that cinnamon-scented candle. Not only will it warm up your home or office, it should help you breeze through a busy day with a smile.

    Featured photo credit: thetruthpreneur via pixabay.com

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    Cris Antonio

    Content Strategist, Storyteller

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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