Busy Vs Productive – Which Are You?

It’s a busy world these days, trying to be successful at work, keep an exercise regime, maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep hydrated and the list goes on! Time flies and before you know it the end of the day has arrived and you haven’t accomplished nearly as much as you thought you would. The real question is… were you productive?

In our busy world today, many of us are good at being busy but not productive. Here are 7 differences between busy people and productive people. Which group are you in? 🙂

Productive is the difference between working hard and working smart.

Great work ethic is important, it gives people the drive to get things done. Busy people are always doing something because they have this drive. However, they work hard, not smart. Their focus is very linear and often they are too “busy” to consider a better faster way of doing things. Productive people first consider how effectively they can do something and then consider being efficient. They want to achieve their outcomes the quickest way possible.

There is a difference between being efficient and being effective. Effectiveness is finding the best way to complete a task whereas efficiency is just going through the steps of completing a larger task as quickly as possible. To be as effective as possible, try automating some of the steps you need to take or eliminating them altogether if they are not wholly necessary.

Keep your eye on the big picture as well as the details

Busy people get caught up in the details. Don’t get me wrong, details are important, just not every detail of every task. Sometimes getting caught in the details will be counterproductive, you’ll be running behind, you’ll get stressed and then get even less done. Sometimes it’s more important to make a decision or get a task done and refine it later.

For example, choosing between layouts of a home page of your website when you first start out could be agonising, because they all have different draw points. Choose one, test it and refine as you get feedback! There are going to be scenarios that details are, however, extremely important to pay attention to. For example, getting your logo designed. It’s something that represents your brand in my different settings. The trick is to focus on details that will affect your outcome, if it’s going to affect your end goal, then you can be a perfectionist. If you can, outsource the rest, follow the 80/20 rule or just get rid of them!

Busy people say yes to everything. Productive people say yes/no mindfully.

You may be familiar with this one…you can just never say no! Your schedule ends up being full of things that are keeping you busy, but not necessarily adding value to your life.

Busy people never say no: they say yes to everything. As a result, they fill their schedules with things that keep them busy but don’t change their life. Productive people are very mindful of what they say yes to. Everything that is said ‘yes’ to, takes time, and that time is taken away from another possible value-adding task. Constantly saying yes to the right things, will lead you down the right path, and the one to success. The same thing for constantly saying yes to the wrong things, don’t get sedge-wayed but the shiny stuff! Stay focused on what will serve you.

Don’t get caught up in the trends

Busy people will jump onto every business trend. They hear you can make money blogging so they immediately jump into a blog. Everyone is adding an app for their business, so they get busy with this too. Productive people understand that trends are actually market movements and will come and go. They consider how much value it will add to their business before deciding to buy-in.

You are given endless choices in this day and age, but it’s important to analyse them in your context to determine if they are worthwhile. Weigh up the pros and cons, the cost analysis, and most importantly, if you actually NEED it.

Busy people don’t seem to have any time. Productive people make sure they have time to focus on the important things.

For example, setting and re-valuating your goals is just as important as working towards and achieving them. Time is a construct and hours and days of the week are labelled in order to communicate and collaborate with others accurately. Your day fills up with “to-do’s” and often others peoples “to-do’s” fall under that. You need to actively choose what you are letting into your day otherwise your time will be taken up with unproductive tasks. Productive people make time for the important things, even when they are busy.

Sometimes the thing you’re putting off the most will be the thing that has the biggest impact on your life. In business, for instance, setting and evaluating your Q2 goals is something that everyone puts off but is so important for your companies achievements.  MAKE the time.

Productive people understand that using the right tools and resources enables them to do their job effectively. Busy people try and do everything themselves.

Working on day-to-day reoccurring tasks, especially when you don’t have the expertise can be draining of both your time and mental resources. Having to learn new skills and try and do everything yourself can be extremely unproductive and disallows you from concentrating on the high-level, core tasks.

Hiring can be difficult in terms of finding the right person to do the job. However, with platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and People per Hour, outsourcing has never been easier! Read our article “The Ins and Outs of Outsourcing” to get up to speed!

The right technological tools and platforms are also extremely important. Using social media planners such as Hootsuite and Planoly or email automation such as Zapier enable you to plan ahead and execute while you get on with other work. With regards to overhead costs when running a business, these are minimal costs and enable you to maximise your time.

Busy vs Productive

Now you need to ask yourself, do you want to be busy or productive? Do you want to be effective and efficient or running around, directionless and stressed? Take a breath, analyse and reset. Just because you aren’t doing EVERYTHING, doesn’t mean you are doing nothing. Time is precious and a finite resource. Use it wisely and productively. Check out our article on Time Wasters for more tips on how to manage your time more effectively!

Efficiency and Operating Systems

Efficiency and Operating Systems

Operating Systems, the key to efficiency

Often overlooked, Operating Systems are fundamental to running a tight ship. Without which the crew are dead in the water.  Sound processes remove doubt, provide direction, and assist with seamlessly operating the vessel. 

Despite having access to world-class hardware and software, it is imperative for Yachts to stay abreast of technological advancements. Charter Yachts are essentially a business and not keeping up with the times could jeopardise success. 

Yachts vs the real world

Life at sea can be somewhat isolating. Without a spare moment, keeping in touch with life ashore may become an afterthought. Each day revolves around being on call to guests 24/7, regular tasks, safety drills and watch duties, making much else near impossible.

Yachtie’s are accustomed to a chock-a-block schedule with high demands, impeccable standards and tight deadlines. Which is why relentless preparation to manage expectations is so important. To avoid keeling over, skilled crew with the necessary tools and Operating Systems need to be in place to ensure smooth sailing. 

Deep Blue Soft, a complete and comprehensive Yacht Management Software

There are numerous programs out there, with more being developed daily. Virtual Pursers have found that none are as all-encompassing as Deep Blue Soft. This revolutionary yacht management software allows Captains & crew members complete transparency. The shared procedures encourage a harmonious and unified working environment whereby crew members complement each others work on board. Developed by yachting industry professionals for yacht operators, compliance with various regulations and security measures are taken care of. This complete and comprehensive Yacht Management Software covers all administrative areas required to run a vessel such as

  • Core Module: User profiles, Contacts, Shared calendar, Crew & guest lists, certificate management for crew and the yacht, technical documentation.

  • HRM module: Calendar, leave summary, scheduler, HOWR, payroll

  • PMS: Inventory, maintenance tasks, equipment, logbook counters, requisitions, work reports, purchase orders, spare parts & kits

  • Finance: accounting, reporting, budget

  • ISM: Dashboard, procedures, reports, records, contacts

  • Charter: contracts, accounting, APA, reporting, calendar

  • Fleet: Dashboard, management analytics

Worth mentioning is the HRM module. This tool allows the flexibility to either adopt stringent MLC rules or the opportunity to customise rules according to the yacht’s operational requirements. The HRM Module also allows for the activation of seafarer contracts under different standards, including rotational contracts and safe manning rules with different flag rules.

Other helpful tools to streamline operations 

Tools such as DS photo, Monday.com, Sortly, Hubdoc, Pinpoint, and numerous other applications are also worthwhile options to investigate. As useful as Excel may be, it is strongly recommended to consider a comprehensive industry relevant alternative when it comes to yachting operational requirements.

Virtual Pursers all about working smarter and these technological advancements are the way to go. For more information contact info@virtualpursers.com or call +44 203 514 0413.

Stress and Time Management for Yachting Professionals

Stress and Time Management for Yachting Professionals

In the unpredictable and fast-paced world of yachting, it is critical for Crew to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Failing to do so will result in stress, burnout and a potential safety hazard. Stress and time management are essential when operating a vessel. However, stress is unavoidable when Pursers, Captains and Senior Crew find themselves overwhelmed by the ever-increasing yachting pressures.

No rest for the wicked

The human body needs rest to refuel and reenergise, similar to the need for food to function. “No” is not a word in the yachting vocabulary – anything and everything is possible. To go the extra mile, Pursers, Captains and Senior Crew often reprioritise for the sake of the Charter. Overtime becomes a harsh reality, forcing crew to falsify information regarding hours of work and rest.

In accordance to the MCL 2006, the minimum hours of rest for all seafarers are:

  • A minimum of 10 hours in any 24 hour period
  • A minimum of 77 hours in any seven day period

This is laughable to some crew as the minimum is a far reach on trips with demanding Charters and Owners.

Stress, a familiar friend

Lack of sleep, guest expectations, yachting administration, overtime, these are just some of the pressures associated with running a vessel. Due to the nature of the job, stress is a familiar friend for most Yachtie’s. Other than being extremely dangerous, stress also severely impacts mental health and concentration, hindering productivity and wellbeing. Not knowing how to deal with these pressures will result in a snowball effect and an inevitable downward spiral.  

Unlike any other occupation

ISS Captains Committee have identified a few problematic characteristics associated with crewing on a yacht. These unique features include

  • Living in an environment that must appear to be “perfect” at all times,
  • A lack of empathy from shore support network i.e. misdirected envy from loved ones, not understanding the yachting environment/pressures.
  • Demanding physical and mental working conditions,
  • Long hours of work creating high levels of stress and fatigue, and
  • Employment insecurity where the slightest perceived failure can result in being dismissed on a whim with all the attendant stress.
Simple changes to assist with Stress and Time Management

Virtual Pursers are the ideal shore-side solution to restore a healthy work environment. This is achieved through relieving pressure from Captains and Pursers who are unable to get through their daily administration. With 20 years combined industry experience, the team know first-hand the trials and tribulations associated with yachting. Virtual Pursers understand yachting pressures and offer a simple solution for stress and time management. It’s ok to hand over work that can be easily outsourced. In doing so, valuable time is freed up for both the Captain and Purser to focus on running the vessel. Together, Virtual Pursers and the vessels crew can work towards achieving the ultimate goal of keeping the client happy. It’s a win-win situation.

Virtual Pursers – The future of seamlessly, effortlessly, and efficiently navigating yacht administration. For more information contact info@virtualpursers.com or call +44 203 514 0413.

Crew Portal

The Future of Yachting Administration

The Future of Yachting Administration

Crew Portal
The Purser you’ll never lose.

It’s an industry reality that a Purser’s career comes to a standstill when wanting to start a family. The unfortunate trend of wasting years of experience when moving life ashore is responsible for the birth of Virtual Pursers.

With over twenty years combined industry experience, the founders of Virtual Pursers identified a gap in the market for seamless yachting administration and sailed full steam ahead.

Coronavirus has revolutionized the workspace, forcing businesses into uncharted waters. Working 9-5 from an office is ancient history and businesses need to adapt or they will capsize. With the technology available today, working remotely is now considered the “new normal” and with it comes endless opportunity. Virtual Pursers have in turn revolutionized the yachting industry by offering practical, innovative and relevant shore-side solutions through reducing overheads and retaining skilled staff – introducing concepts such as “The Purser you’ll never lose”.  

Effortlessly and efficiently navigating yachting administration.

The team at Virtual Pursers used Lockdown to their advantage, concentrating all efforts to develop a thoroughly detailed business model. Adopting the EOS business model, Virtual Pursers have implemented development tools that businesses usually only consider years down the line. The forward-thinking model, focuses on instilling values that create a positive, growth orientated atmosphere both personally and professionally, all while maintaining job satisfaction and enjoyment.  

With seamless integration at the forefront, Virtual Pursers have ensured user friendly processes that are legally compliant. Having worked with different personalities, Virtual Pursers are aware of the importance to not have a one-size-fits-all approach. With access to numerous platforms, the team are able to tailor their business relationships to the Captain or Senior Crew’s preferences. Understanding the risks and concerns associated with virtualization, the team have made cyber security a top priority, working specifically with Gmail, Outlook, Yubikeys, Macs and Norton Anti-Virus Software.

The ideal solution for yachts ranging from 40 – 65 meters

Virtual Pursers are an ideal solution for yachts that need a Purser but are unable to accommodate a Purser onboard. The expert team are readily available and can easily fulfill the role of a Purser virtually from anywhere in the world. Alternatively, the team can also relieve pressure from Pursers who find themselves overwhelmed during the busy seasons, or whilst dealing with guests on board. From experience, Virtual Pursers are oh so familiar with the pressure associated with yachting administration as well as the importance of stress and time management. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Trusted and experienced yachting professionals

Our services fulfill the role of a Purser, just virtually. Without overhead costs, the experienced and knowledgeable team will free up time for you to attend to guests and to focus on running the yacht.  Whether it be a once-off project or monthly service, Virtual Pursers alleviate stress by taking care of excess yachting administration by allowing ALL vessels access to a Purser service no matter the size of the vessel or the extend of the need.

Crew Portal

Virtual Pursers – The future of seamlessly, effortlessly, and efficiently navigating yacht administration. For more information contact info@virtualpursers.com or call +44 203 514 0413.