It’s back to school and university for so many of us, and with that comes questions of how to optimise our productivity, how to study most efficiently, and how to stay focussed and calm in the midst of lots of work to do.
Studying from home is the new normal – even if classes or lectures are part of the week, for many working from home is still a huge part of studying.
Creating a calming study space at home can be a hugely positive way to help your productivity. In fact, Duke University behavioural economist Dr. Dan Ariely says, “We think that we make decisions on our own, but the environment influences us to a great degree. Because of that, we need to think about how to change our environment.”
His recommendations include ways to control your environment, such as effective ways to manage your time, and creating a quiet space for focus or using a white-noise playlist to mimic a calming environment.
How to create a study space at home
We know that controlling our environment is crucial to effective productivity, but how do you create a comfortable and functional study space at home? Some great tips include:
- Get rid of clutter: keep your space clean and functional – have a drawer or box where you can dump anything you don’t need from your desk-area while you get down to focus work.
- Remove any distractions: as lovely as it is to have Friends on in the background, your brain isn’t capable of healthy focus work when you’ve got other stimuli in the background. Try to keep things as quiet as possible, turn your phone on silent.
- Consider the light: ideally, it’s best to be beside a window when you’re working so you’re getting lots of natural light, but if you’re working in a darker space or in the evening, find lights that aren’t so bright they give you a headache, but not too dull to avoid straining your eyes.
- Use scent to your advantage: we are candle lovers after all, but they can be a fantastic way to create the ideal focus environment, personalising your space and even helping you study better.
Scent and memory: can scent improve your study?
The connection between scent and memory, according to recent studies, is that it is completely unconscious. Scent can trigger a memory, but we can’t make ourselves remember something by smelling a scent – unfortunately!
Evolutionarily speaking, scent is our oldest sense, connecting closely to emotion. Over the years, research has been done into whether scent can improve learning, in which the jury is still out.
However, there have been studies that have proven to improve productivity with scent. Research has even shown that scents can be used to improve concentration levels and help with afternoon brain fog.
So, it seems there is certainly no harm in using candles to help you create a more conducive environment to effective study.
Which candle scents are best for studying?
There are numerous scents that have been proven to be helpful for concentration, some of which include:
If you click the fragrances, you’ll be able to find candles which feature that scent note.
- Rosemary: Encourages clear thinking, alertness and perhaps even enhanced memory.
- Coffee: The scent of coffee can promote alertness, and even has been proven to support analytical reasoning.
- Lemon: Helps with focus and mental clarity, and in one study was shown to decrease errors made at work.
- Jasmine: In one study, jasmine was found to improve brain wave activities, so is helpful for focus work.
- Cinnamon: To heighten your brain’s attention, cinnamon has been found to improve performance.
- Peppermint: Similarly to cinnamon, peppermint can help to heighten performance and alertness.
Scents for stress-relief
Scent is a powerful tool, and there are many scents that have been used for years in aromatherapy to help with stress-relief, and support relaxation and peace:
- Lemongrass: Found to reduce anxiety and ease stress.
- Lavender: Currently, various research supports lavender scent as a stress reliever and even helpful with anxiety.
- Ylang Ylang: Research is limited on ylang ylang, however many people use it as a stress-relieving scent.
- Clary Sage: Found to support relaxation, and support stress reduction.
- Frankincense: Used for years as a scent for relaxation, frankincense may even help to relieve anxiety.
The best candles to help you study
Now that you know the power of scent to promote concentration, focus and improve productivity, we want to share with you the best candles to help you study.
When using candles for studying, we’d recommend the following routine to help settle you into your study environment:
- Turn off and put away all of your distractions.
- Set up your space with the tools you need for your study (snacks count too).
- Write a realistic list of what you will tackle, and know how long you plan to spend on each topic – but remember to take breaks!
- Select your candle or multiple candles to help you study.
- Take a moment to light your candle or candles, and arrange them in the optimal way for scent (some larger ones you’ll want to put further away, and smaller candles with more delicate scents closer). We love to have them in view so that you can see their calming glow and watch them burn as you work away.