Employee of the month: Time management aboard a superyacht
Written by Sarah Rowland
Last updated: 02/12/2016
Whether you’re in engineering or interior crew, regardless of the department in which you work, time management is a vital skill to have in order to increase your output and efficiency in your role aboard a superyacht.
Why, you ask? Well, while being featured on the captain’s list for ‘Employee of the Month’ may not be high on your agenda, getting work out of the way so that you have more downtime may well be!
Yachting Pages offers tips to increase time management and efficiency aboard a superyacht. Helpful for deckhands, chief stewardesses and even captains.
While we do not condone taking shortcuts and skipping duties to get things done, we do understand that not everything can be done by the book. With great experience comes great opportunity for changing the way things are done aboard your vessel, so take a risk and suggest or implement a new strategy to get to the bottom of that list sooner rather than later. You’ll be the boat’s newest hero!
How to get your crew chores done quicker
It goes without saying that those who are focused and determined in their duties will get more done in less time. But, it’s also fair to say that a bit of fun along the way makes for a happier working day. Time management is therefore a strategic balance of planning, elbow grease, teamwork and a bit of messing about, i.e. fun.
Get a good night’s sleep on board the yachtThat last tequila really was a mistake. While we realise that during the height of the summer season when the owner is aboard, or deep into the fifth charter of a very (very) long season, there is not much time to let your hair down. However, it’s not hard to realise that a good (and sober) night’s sleep will really help to get things done in the morning. Especially when coupled with a clear head.
If that ship has already sailed and ‘peer pressure’ took over, check out our tried-and-tested hangover cures, here. Otherwise, feel free to gloat to your colleagues who are looking a little worse-for-wear.
Stress really isn’t good for the mind or the body (another cream cake, anyone?), but it definitely affects your ability to manage your time effectively – hello panic.
To minimise stress, The Stewardess Bible recommends first identifying the triggers of your stress, and then removing them. Obviously this is difficult if the sole cause of your stress is the boss/owner, but, if it’s simply a matter of prior planning and prioritising, it’s worth a shot - more on this later.
Put yourself first
While at times you may find yourself questioning whether you’re really cut out for the job, remember it’s important to make room for a little ‘you’ time after work hours – even during the busiest of seasons.
We’re sure that we don’t have to tell you that relaxation and a bit of ‘down-time’ will do wonders to your mood and your level of productivity on board, so ensure that you’re looking after yourself during the busy times; eating right, sleeping right and exercising, however possible.
Also make sure you are finding the time to do something that you enjoy; whether that is exercising, or maybe touching base with those at home, reading a good book or putting in your headphones and blocking out the world instead.
Although space for crew belongings is limited on board, make sure to have a few essential home comforts on hand to get you through the testing times, and tell your crewmates when they need to give you some space. Check our list of creature comforts, here.
Focus and prioritise
Wake up determined. Today is a new day. Set your mind to the (many) tasks in hand; focus on the jobs that need to be done and make a list to help you to prioritise. Think about it - it’s often best to get the jobs that you hate out of the way early in the day.
Get to work and tackle the more challenging jobs, or those with a pressing deadline first to avoid procrastination or unnecessary panic towards the end of the day. This also means less time to wind yourself up about those unwelcome tasks – hello vomit!
Get organised, make lists, set goals
You’ve determined what needs to be today, this week, and like, now. So, set your mind to the tasks in hand and set a methodical way to get it done.
A bit of forward planning really does help. If you’re not one for lists and spreadsheets, try it out. If you’re a chef, having that meal plan and prep done ahead of schedule will help to make your job, and that of your crewmates much easier.
If you’re a deckhand with a to-do list as long as your arm, with your crewmates out of the way elsewhere managing the guest’s needs, you should be able to get the job done to a good quality without constant interruption and procrastination.
Delegate, or find a crewmate
With great power comes great responsibility! If you’re working higher up in the chain of command, you’ll be lucky to be able to delegate jobs out to your team. If you are that team, find a friend and set to work as a team. More hands make less work, right?
Although nobody likes to be a blatant teacher’s pet, meeting your deadlines early will make life on board much more enjoyable: If not for that shot at employee of the month, it just means less panic at the end of the day. Plus, there’ll be no need to ask your crewmates to give you a helping hand to get stuff done.
When all is said and done, if you decide that working as yacht crew on a superyacht really isn’t for you, find out what other jobs the industry offers.