29 September 2014

Overwhelmed? Here's Five Steps To Help!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of genealogy information being "thrown" at you these days?  A sense of being totally overwhelmed by the "information highway"?   It seems like everyday there is some new technology, something new to search, something new to try, a new website, a new genealogy Facebook page,  you want to look at them all but you've got kids to take care of, the laundry calls, someone has to make dinner and the list seems to just keep growing on both the personal and the genealogy sides?

I know how you feel!  It can be tough.  But I've learned some things so I thought I'd share them with you.  This is how I survive, can't swear it will work for you but some suggestions that might help.

  • Priorities  -  Sit down, step back and take a hard look at just what it is that is truly important to you.  Yes, I know you really want to find out who the parents of John Smith are.  We all do.  But the fact is, he's been dead for over 200 years.  He can wait.  Stop and take a good look at what really matters.  Then plan your time around those things.
  • Organize -  You would be amazed at how much easier life is when you organize your life.  Not just your genealogy but your day to day life as well.  I didn't say it was easy or that it would happen over night, but it can be done.  By having things organized, you can quickly get things done without spending half the time you wanted to use researching or doing household chores looking for things to help get the job done.  Make a place for everything and put everything in its place. 
  • Simplify - Again it really makes like easier if you learn to simplify things.  I enjoy cooking and baking as one of my "other" hobbies.  I sometimes see really great recipes with tons of ingredients and steps to making them.  Reading over the process I usually find a way to side step alot of the process and still get the same results.  There are alot of things that you can do to simplify things.  In genealogy, when doing some internet searches I search using ONE group sheet. Yep, just one family and search only for that family. No rabbit hole running.
  • Make Lists  -  Not just in your genealogy but in your daily life.  Sit down and make a list of the chores that you need to take care of.  Sometimes by multitasking & dividing you can shorten the time it takes to get the job done.  By making a list you can see what chores are the most time consuming and perhaps do one per day, combined with several smaller chores each day.  Everything gets done and you win with more time for doing the things you want to do instead of what you have to do. 
  • Learn to say NO -  Being a stay at home mom for all of our marriage meant that I was one of those who got asked to do EVERYTHING.  You know,  you are at home watching soaps and eating bon bons so of course you have time to be on every committee and do everything right?  I learned early on that if I accepted everything that I was asked to do I quickly had no time to do the things I needed/wanted to do at home.  So I stepped back, decided which things were the most important for me to do at school to support the activities I felt important and then adjusted my time to fit that in.  Everything else was "Sorry, I'd love to help but I'm already volunteering on several other projects."  
In the long run, it really boils down to one thing.  PRIORITIES.  What really matters to you?   We all love our genealogy.  It's addictive, it's challenging and I could go on and on.  But the fact of the matter is very few of us are "Islands".  We have people we live with, people who depend on us for other things.  And as much as we'd love to research 24/7 it really isn't possible.  At least not for me.  So take a few minutes, step back and take good hard look at your life.  Decide what things matter and then take it from there!  You'll be much happier and so will those around you!  

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