Top-Shelf Tip No. 2: 

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
Mark Twain

Six Surprising Ways To Skyrocket Your Productivity

On the heels of the holidays, you may have returned to work revitalized, refreshed and ready to tackle the workload. Or, you may be facing somewhat of a holiday jetlag. You might dread the post-vacation crush and struggle with the deluge of daily demands.

While it's sometimes difficult to transition from time off to work mode, there are some steps you can take to avoid the overwhelm, dive back into work and start your year off on a productive note. 

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder and CEO of Evercoach, presents some strategies to boost your focus and productivity, and maybe even have some fun in the process. 

1. Soak up the sun. In January, the days are often bleak and gray. However, get some sun if you spot some rays breaking through the clouds. Sunlight can elevate your brain's serotonin levels, which can boost your mood and help you feel more alert and focused. If you can't get away for a quick stroll, open your window to let in the fresh air and sunlight. 

2. Warm things up. Cornell University research reveals that employees in warmer offices tend to make fewer errors and proclaim higher rates of productivity. There's a fine line, though. A CareerBuilder survey shows that nearly three-quarters of employees are less productive if their work environment is too warm. Aim for a moderately cozy temperature to reap the most productivity benefits. 

3. Nibble on dark chocolate. It's okay to swing by the vending machine—just make sure you get dark chocolate for your treat. Chocolate made from at least 60 percent cacao can make you more alert and attentive. A few bites of dark chocolate could be just the way to ward off the afternoon slump and enhance your concentration. 

4. Try alternate-nostril breathing. This long-standing yoga practice involves gently pressing your right nostril with your right thumb and breathing through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril with your left thumb and breath through your right nostril. Practice this for a few minutes the next time you feel distracted or stressed. 

5. Boost your focus with aromatherapy. Certain smells, such as rosemary, peppermint and lemon, can enhance memory, alertness and concentration. Bring an essential oil diffuser to your office and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to feel the benefits almost instantly. 

6. Pop a piece of gum. Cardiff University researchers find that chewing gum can help you stay focused and improve your memory. Gum chewers also boast quicker response times. If you're feeling sluggish or need a mental boost, chewing a piece of gum might help you get back on track. 

These science-based strategies are just a few ways to help you focus and enjoy a more productive workweek. Try some of these tips—or all of them—to feel motivated to tackle your to-do list. By implementing these strategies, you'll have more time to visit with friends and family, and you'll feel good about getting more done in less time. You don't have to read a long book or attend a faraway seminar to perform at your best—you just need some smart strategies that work for you. 

Source: Ajit Nawalkha is the co-founder and CEO at Evercoach, author of Live Big and co-founder of the Global Grit Institute.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers