Use Essential Oils for a Productivity Boost

When I first started using essential oils, I got a diffuser for my bedroom for the sole purpose of diffusing lavender to help my husband and I drift off to sleep. I feel many people understand the calming effects of oils, but once I got into using my oils for just about everything, I quickly took to using them to keep me on task and focused.

Whether you work in an open office, cubicle, home, or coffeeshop, it can be tough to stay productive, especially when your energy wanes or you’re tackling a big project. Turning to coffee or soda can seem like it will help – caffeine will carry you through, right? – but we know this is a quick fix that leaves our nervous systems jittery and leads to a crash in the end.

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Essential oils can give you that boost and energy to stay focused, without the negative side effects. Here are my favorite oils for boosting productivity, along with different ways to use them.

Six Essential Oils for Productivity


Two of Rosemary’s primary benefits are supporting healthy respiratory function, and helping to reduce nervous tension and fatigue. When you’re breathing deeper, and your body is relaxed, you’re able to stay calm and ignore the distractions around you.


Derived from the tropical flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, this oil has a sweet and spicy aroma. It’s used to lessen tension and promote a positive outlook, just what you need when your deadline is fast approaching!


This just may be my most used oil. Peppermint, like Rosemary, promotes healthy respiratory function, and can boost your energy along with supporting digestive health. The aroma alone gives us that clean feeling, and the tingling sensation it leaves on the skin will wake up your senses.


Lemon is a fresh citrus scent and powerful purifying properties (a bonus for office life!), and provides a refreshing boost. It is uplifting and energizing, promoting a positive mood to keep you awake and happy!

Wild Orange

Wild Orange has a bit sweeter smell, but still has that citrusy punch. When diffused it helps purify the air, while uplifting your mind and body, keeping you alert and positive.


Yet another citrus oil family member made the list! This sweet and tart smelling oil positively affects your mood all while stimulating and refreshing your energy levels. It has an uplifting scent and purifying properties.

Ways to Use Essential Oils for Productivity

There are 3 ways to use your oils; aromatically, topically, and internally. Here I’ll touch on each with a few examples on how you can use your oils specifically for productivity.


The aromas from essential oils can elicit powerful mental, physiologic, and emotional responses when the molecules of the oils send messages to the brain through the olfactory system.

The simplest way to use your oils aromatically is by opening the bottle and breathing in the scent. This is called direct inhalation. The other popular way – and my most used! – is through a diffuser. Diffusing essential oils is beneficial for affecting mood, changing the aroma of a space (goodbye dangerous candles!), and killing airborne pathogens.

If you’re able to, bring a small diffuser to keep at your desk (super easy if you work at home!). Start your morning off with a productivity boost by diffusing a couple drops of either one of the above oils, or a combination.

You can do this again after lunch to awaken your senses and lift your mood from the afternoon slump.

Can’t bring a diffuser to work? Bring a bottle or two, like Peppermint and Wild Orange, to keep at your desk and simply smell from the bottle.


Using your oils topically hosts a huge variety of benefits with many ways and places to apply them. The oils are fat-soluble and rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream which is another reason using quality oils is so important, and while high quality oils can be used “neat” (applying directly to the skin), another popular way to use them is by pairing them with a carrier oil. Applying oils with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or EVOO), is used for dilution and prevents the oil from evaporating.

My favorite way to use oils topically is with a roller ball, where you dilute the oil(s) with a carrier oil and roll onto your hands or wrists, or even heart area. This is a great way to start your day before going out of the house, and to use before starting a big project. I love putting peppermint oil on the back of my neck to wake me up and keep me focused!

Your feet have the biggest pores, so rubbing some Lime oil – either neat or with a carrier oil – into the soles of your feet when you feel your energy start to droop is a fast way to get the benefits of the oil.

Rosemary has a very herbaceous smell, so using as almost a perfume either with a roller ball on the wrists, or a small spritzer bottle every few hours throughout your work day is pretty unobtrusive in the office setting.


Just as they are quickly absorbed into the blood stream through the skin, these oils are delivered to all organs (including the brain!), and metabolized by the liver and other organs. It’s important to follow proper dosing recommendations when using your oils internally. Generally this is 1-5 drops every 2-6 hours for an adult (depending on the oil) and no more than 25 drops per 24 hours.

The citrus oils – Wild Orange, Lemon, and Lime – are perfect for adding a drop to your water. This can be done first thing in the morning to wake you up and get you ready for the day, or to replace that afternoon cup of coffee or soda.

Another quick pick-me-up is placing one drop of Peppermint under your tongue.

Keep in mind these aren’t the only oils that help keep you focused and energized, but they are a solid choice and easy to start with. Get creative when making diffuser blends, you don’t have to stick with just these oils. If there is a scent you love but isn’t designated as an uplifting oil, go ahead and put a drop in because you enjoy it! The other oils will work their magic just as well.


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