February 6, 2011

Confessions of a rubber band researcher

I hit the ground running in January, starting right off with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. It was a fantastic experience, both in and out of the classroom, and I came home with some new strategies and skills. I also came home with research findings on several ancestral lines from the Family History Library. These now need to be analyzed, documented, and filed. Right now everything’s sitting in folders on my dining room table, and on a flash drive. I want to process the research carefully and completely. But where to start?

I made a big breakthrough in identifying my husband’s great-grandmother, who died shortly after his grandmother was born. I made some discoveries in my Eberhard line, which I want to share with a cousin. I need to check more church records for my Herrels. I found some good information on my King and Roush ancestors in Gallia County. I’m anxious to pursue some leads on my husband’s Barnum, Sanborn, and Ives ancestors. The list goes on, but I’m getting a little dizzy.

On top of that, I have a big assignment due for my ProGen study group, and I really should tackle the next lesson in the NGS Home Study Course. And I set a daily writing goal for myself that I’m trying to keep. There’s a backlog of blogs and forums waiting to be read. Not to mention that we’ve had drywall guys and painters working in the house for the past five days. Or that our power was out for 12 hours in the recent ice storm. But now that just sounds like whining!

I feel like a rubber band being stretched every which way. How do you focus on one genealogical goal when you have so many jostling for your attention? I need to determine a focus and stick with it. For now, I'm going to start by writing a research report on  my husband's great-grandmother. I’d love to hear how other people prioritize and manage multiple projects. What are your favorite strategies?

1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem when I came home, Shelley, especially since we have a big ProGen assignment due at the end of this month. I didn't dare dig into the new material. I dutifully filed paper, digital images, electronic notes and lumped my findings into four major categories and posted about them - to remind myself. Or....you could post the topics on a whiteboard on your office wall - to remind you of the riches you are hoarding. And when a window of time opens up, you pick the one that grabs you. I also pencil things on my calendar to tackle, like an appointment -- even if I move them to another day, it reminds me of my long-term goals.


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