As yacht stews, we are the queens of clean, domestic divas, ultimate party throwers, organizers extraordinaire, and creators of holiday dreams. Mostly though, we are incredibly organized and determined to create a six-star experience for our guests, all while keeping a perfectly clean and maintained boat.
Here are a few tips on how to do it.
Tip No. 1: Become a master at organizing
Every stew needs to be organized; chief stews need to be beyond organized. There are far too many things going on in one day to be whimsical about to-do lists. There is nothing successful about being harried and not prepared, so it’s better to do some planning and preparation work beforehand.
This method of planning I learned from motivational coach Anthony Robbins. It is simple and effective, and once you master it, it will change your day.
Now, on a separate piece of paper, write what is the most important outcome or result for the day that you want to achieve. Follow this with your purpose or why you want it.
Then take any items off your to-do list that relate to each outcome and create a Massive Action Plan (MAP) by writing them down underneath your outcomes and purposes.
Next, block out a time you will focus on these items.
Outcome/Result: Be completely ready for the week and to go shopping Tuesday morning
Purpose: To be fully prepared in advance to have a smooth and organized week
Outcome/Result: Be fully up to date with admin work
Purpose: So that I may focus on preparing for guest arrival next week
Outcome/Result: Create a positive environment on board and good crew relations
Purpose: So that we have a happy, effective crew and boat
Finally put a box around each group so that you have three distinct boxes. Congratulations. You have just created an RPM (Rapid Planning Method) work list for the day.
The point of all this is that instead of having a massive to-do list, you have a few clear outcomes for the day. This helps your brain stay focused and feel less overwhelmed and distracted.
In addition to being incredibly organized, you will feel more fulfilled about your day. Think about it. Is it more fulfilling and inspiring to update inventory and create a work list? To be completely ready so that you have a smooth and organized week?
Plus, when you chunk like items together, you feel less overwhelmed and more likely to work in sequence.
Blocking out time is useful, even if it does not always work out exactly as planned. If you get interrupted, however, you can look at your list and remember exactly what you were supposed to be doing at that time and get back to it easier.
Being organized is a learning process and it takes time to master so don’t get discouraged if you fall into old patterns. Just pick up where you left off and try again. It gets quicker and easier every time you do this, and eventually you will master it.
If you are a chief stew, I recommend teaching this to your stews and even encourage them to make their own lists.
Tip No. 1: Create a healthy cleaning cupboard
Interior crew spend a lot of time cleaning so we have the potential to come into contact with chemicals on a daily basis. Unless you absolutely need a chemical for a specific job, there is no need to have a cupboard full of chemicals for day-to-day cleaning.
This list will get you started on the right track.
First though, buy good quality spray bottles and label them with label maker tape or a strong sticker that will not peel off when wet. And create a reference sheet on how to mix and use healthy cleaners properly.
White vinegar and water
Baking soda and vinegar
Alcohol and water
Dish soap and water
Tea tree spray
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from entries in her blog, The Yachtie Glow (www.angelaorecchio.com), which offers tips for crew on how to be healthy, fit and happy on board. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.