Jumping from a customer service agent to Chief Customer Officer in one year is quite the achievement for any person, but for millennial Ruby Camara, it was simply a matter of putting in the work. As CCO of SixthContinent, Ruby has been in high energy work mode, helping every customer in the growing the gift card ecommerce business that she, and the CEO Francesca Roveda, jokingly call “the biggest company you’ve never heard of”.
What’s the secret to her outstanding rise?
It all starts with showing up and putting in a productive day’s work.
We sat down with Ruby to learn her productivity hacks that she’s been using to propel her success. Here are her top 5 tricks to make the most of her day:
1. Get the 5-min-or-less jobs out of the way
This is a crucial part of the get shit done approach – when there is a task that takes up to 5 minutes to do it, rather than putting it off, Ruby does it straight away.
This not only pounds out a ton of things that can be checked off a to-do list, but more importantly, it leaves less weighing on your mind, nagging at you subconsciously about all of the things you still need to do.
By getting those tiny jobs out of the way immediately, it leaves a clean slate to dig into the tasks that require more concentration and mental clarity.
2. Plan outfits on Sundays
As an evident fashionista, there’s nothing worse than panicking on a workday morning about what to wear. This decision paralysis is felt by many a woman who has five minutes before running out of home, while hopelessly gazing into their closet.
It’s the same reason that Steve Jobs wore his black turtleneck every day, and Mark Zuckerberg limits his “uniform” to jeans and a variety of v-neck t-shirts.
The fewer decisions you have to make earlier in the day, the more you can delay the onset of decision fatigue.
Though a one-outfit-suits-all uniform is not an option for fashion-forward Ruby, her solution is to defer the decision making to a less stressful day – she plans out the week’s worth of outfits on Sunday.
That way she wastes no time in the mornings with decision fatigue, and ends up looking on-point wherever she goes.
3. Work on the train to the office
One of the downsides of urban development is the sprawling city, and ultimately, the morning commute.
Rather than seeing this as a wasted hour, Ruby makes a point of using the time to get ahead on her tasks for the day (like those 5-minutes-or-less tasks), so that when she gets to the office she can jump right in to larger-scale projects.
It also means that she can get a grasp of what’s important for the day, and get her team on the same page before they’ve arrived at their workstations for the day.
4. Bring the dogs to work
A major part of creating a business environment that works for the co-founders was to build a corporate culture that was dog-friendly.
How does this relate to productivity? Simple.
By being able to bring her dogs to work, Ruby (and other dog-owner employees) ensures that the dogs get their dose of attention and affection, not only from Ruby herself, but from other office dwellers as well. The dog’s happy, and so when they return home for the evening, they aren’t as attention-seeking as they would be if they had been left at home all day. That way both dog and owner get to relax during the evening and regenerate for another full day of productivity.
Plus, having dogs around has proven to reduce stress. So win for the dogs, win for the owners, and win for the office environment!
5. 100% dedication theory – in work and relaxation
The key to being really on and 100% committed to the work at hand is being equally committed to rest and relaxation.
For that reason, when the workday is done, Ruby makes a point to remove herself from the working environment and throw herself into enjoy the fruits of life. A particular favorite is exploring the city around her and going on day-trips further out to soak in new experiences. Away from the computer, and away from work.
Concentration is like a muscle – it can’t be flexed indefinitely.
This is supported by findings that concentration is like a muscle – it can’t be flexed indefinitely, and has to be relaxed for it to be able to perform at its highest the next time you need it.
Showing up with full cognitive clarity
The common denominator of these girlboss productivity hacks is that they all let Ruby show up to work in the best possible physical and mental state. In return, she’s able to perform to the best of her capacity, and be present in driving growth for SixthContinent.
Sure, specific productivity hacks may affect people differently. And that’s absolutely okay. After all, when it comes to growing a business, the most important aspect for entrepreneurship is showing up, and putting in the work.