Monday, January 2, 2017

My genealogical New Year’s resolution

So what is my genealogical New Year’s resolution? 

I will not procrastinate

What this means is, I will deal with each piece of information as it come in instead of shoving things off to the side to do later (or not do later).

I am going to do a few things that will help me with the above.  I have too many obligations going on as a general rule. I am unsubscribing myself from some email lists that I don’t have time to participate in. I going to allow my membership to lapse in a couple of societies that I am not active in. I am going to have to curtail some of my pro bono work (definitely not all, I am a big believer in giving back to the genealogical community but sometimes I have a hard time saying no). I am going to limit the number of active cases I am working on at any one time.

Even though I have made a commitment to no longer procrastinate, I still have a backlog that I have to deal with and I am vowing to deal with it on a daily basis. Even if I only tackle one small item per day I will eventually get the backlog caught up. I think getting into a consistent routine is the key. Another thing that will help is simply keeping my desk clean and orderly.  Every evening before I leave my office I will tidy up. One of the things I am really bad about is pulling reference books out and not putting them back on the shelf so most of the time I have a pile of books at my feet.

I am tired of always feeling like I am behind.

Copyright © 2017 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. Michele: What a wonderful resolution! Would you object if I copied it over into my log? But how do we keep focused on this list? I would hate to procrastinate by not keeping it always in front of me. It would be great if we could develop a system of checking on each other to make sure that some progress is constantly achieved!! I am sending myself an e-mail each day to remind me {to Practice my music at 3:00 p.m. each day and at 10:00 p.m. to review at least 2 blogs from my growing list}. I have to find an effective way to rein myself in!! Thanks for your list of resolutions. All of them fit in my case!! I really appreciate your blog on a reguler basis.

    1. THe way I keep track of everything is my "Uncalendar." I have been using this calendar for two years now and I love it. It is a calendar/planner but it is undated (you add your own dates) and it has PLENTY of room to records all kinds of different things. It has planning stuff built in too.

  2. Good for you and good luck. I, too have unsubscribed to a lot of my email lists as even opening them is wasting a lot of valuable time. Also have decided not to renew my memberships of clubs and societies that I am no longer active in. I believe this is the way to go in 2017.

  3. I like your idea of dealing with each item as it comes in, but I also think a lot of those items are distractions that keep us from doing what we intend to do. For example, I'll be working on family "x" and get an email from a cousin related to family "y." It's a question or a new piece of information, and I get distracted and start researching family "y" and leave behind family "x." I wish I knew how to balance it all! What do you think?

    Anyway, best wishes in 2017!

    1. I was speaking more along the lines of incoming documents but I know what your mean about emails. It has been a real struggle for me to keep my emails cleaned out since I get several hundred emails a day. Granted, only a small percentage of those are actual research type emails but it still slows me down.

      Most of the emails of the research variety have to do with DNA and I do deal with those as soon as they come in. I have a system in place for these emails. For the ones that I sent out I have them logged in (when I sent it it, why I sent it). The ones that "distract" me are the ones that come in telling me we are a DNA match but does tell me the company not the kit number if it is gedmatch. Once I email back to get that information I find out we are a 5 cM match. I end up spending a lot of time educating and that definitely slows me down.