Monday, December 8, 2014

How to prioritize your 2015 research. From FamilyTree Magazine

I haven't been able to post for a while due to some medical issues with my husband but I wanted to share this:
From FamilyTree magazine promoting their upcoming class.
1. Keeping track of everything in your head.
    There's a story about Albert Einstein not being able to remember his own phone number. When asked about it, he said there was no point in remembering something you could look up in a book.
Although Einstein wasn't talking about time management, he was talking about cluttering up the mind. Keeping track of everything in your head produces stress and anxiety. And it reduces your effective use of time because invariably you'll forget something you're supposed to do, an appointment, a call you should have made, or a high-priority action item.
Using a day planner, online calendar or phone app to help you keep track of all the things in your life isn't cheating-it's good time management.
2. Poor planning.
    Have you ever gone to the grocery store, come home and unloaded the groceries, only to then remember you were supposed to pick up dry cleaning at the shop right next to the grocers?
Or do you get overwhelmed because you don't have a clear plan (or any plan at all) for organizing your genealogy photos, documents and research? Maybe you switch from plan to plan in small fits and starts, never really getting anything done.
Poor planning (or no planning) results in missed deadlines, ineffective use of time and perpetually running late.
3. Always saying "yes."
    Many genealogists are people-pleasers by nature, making it difficult for us to say "no"-this applies to everything from chauffeuring the soccer team to volunteering at the hospital.
Being a good friend is laudable-no one will argue that. But when you say "yes" to everyone all the time, you end up saying "no" to yourself.
4. Perfectionism.
    Perfectionism is a plague in our culture.
When I was in junior high school, we had to take a sewing class, which I truly detested because I had no interest in sewing. Our semester project was to sew an apron and embroider our names on the waistband. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the apron to be perfect, so I kept ripping it apart and starting from scratch-again and again. In the end I finished the project, but it was a mess.
In looking back, I have to ask myself why being perfect was so important. I hated the class! In the long run, was sewing an area I needed to spend so much effort on? The answer was "no."
I'm not saying you should do a shoddy job to get through a task faster, but I am saying that every single task you have on your plate doesn't have to be perfect. Prioritize.
5. Attempting to do too much.
    This is the bane of our modern lives, isn't it? If your schedule is so crammed full of activities that you don't have any time to breathe, it's safe to say you're taking on too much.
The question to ask is this: Are all of those activities a priority or are you being derailed by things that don't really matter? Or worse, are your priorities put aside because your time is spent on crisis management-putting out every one else's fires?
Do you see some of yourself in any of these descriptions? When you're in a state of constant stress and anxiety, the things you truly enjoy-genealogy, scrapbooking, collecting or any other pleasurable pastime-get the a back seat.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Before you can start changing your habits, take a few minutes to think about where you are with time management today.


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