Three Tools I Use Every Day to Make Work-Life Manageable
Getting Stuff Done at Summer Camp Just Got a Bit Easier
I have this concept (more specifically, a number) that I encourage all Camp Mavericks to keep in mind: your VOYT #
VOYT stands for the Value of Your Time. In order to have your own VOYT # you take your camp salary, subtract your weeks of vacation, divide by the number of remaining weeks and then divide by 40 hours.
Now, you and I know that even in the off-season a 40 hour work week is rare (as in: as rare as a camp counsellor without 15teen bracelets) but I'm trying to keep things simple.
If, at the end of all that math-stuff, you get your VOYT #, you now know how much your time is worth and you can make better decisions about how you spend that time. Should you be spending 2 months learning Wordpress to update your camp website instead of just using Squarespace or Wix or Weebly?!? I don't know. Let's consult your VOYT.
[For simplicity sake:] Your VOYT is $25, multiply by 25 hours per week (25*25 = $625 per week), multiply by 8 weeks =
You just cost your camp $5000
When you could have paid some $2000 to create a whole new, beautiful website on Squarespace that tells you that, thanks to your VOYT, IT'S A WASTE OF RESOURCES FOR YOU TO BUILD YOUR WEBSITE. Get someone else to do it and put your time to better use by marketing like a maniac or designing your staff training.
So, that was a long way to say:
You're valuable. Please make sure you value yourself.
Enough lecture for today. Here's three things I recommend, heartily, that can make your life a tiny bit more manageable.
- Zebra Telescopic Pen - after all it IS mightier than the sword.... (seriously though: I love this because it's wee, it collapses so that the ball point is hidden and poses no danger of drawing on the inside of a pocket and I use it so often that I make sure I have 2 or 3 back ups in my office)
- Speed Control for Videos - True or False: you can think faster than a person can talk? True, right? Like most adults these days I use YouTube to learn new skills, or I follow a channel in Vimeo because they've got smart things to say, or I save good Facebook Videos. I watch videos all the time for work. When I'm doing that I always watch at 1.5x or 2x speed. YouTube has that built in (click on the gear and select the speed you want) but not the other services. To speed up vids I'm watching on my computer I use the Chrome browser and an extension called Video Speed Controller.
- Secure Password Database - This one is a bit tougher and requires a bit more thought but it's the Tool that can have the most potential impact on your sanity. It's time to give up on passwords that you can remember. If you can remember your password, it's already been stolen. Instead, use a secure password database to keep, manage, and, even generate passwords that are too complicated to be hacked. I use and LOVE 1Password but there are lots of other good options. I know that some of my CampHacker podcast co-hosts use Last Pass.
A concentration tool - based on science. If I'm ever head-down and need to focus on the ONE project in front of me I always use Brain.fm. Brain.fm is a website and app that you listen to through headphones. You can pick the background "noise" or music (i like Chillout trip hop type music but you can also pick nature sounds - that one always reminds me of the beach campfires at Camp Kintail) that you want to listen to and the app will mix that with "binaural beats" that help build your concentration. The longer you listen the better your concentration. Like I said: science. It's too much to explain herehow it works but it's been proven.
Interested in short bullet lists of great, tested Tools for Camp Mavericks?
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