Saturday, January 28, 2012

Branches

I took this photo in Nova Scotia last summer (in a cemetery actually!). The more I look at it, the more it reminds me of my Family Tree research right now. Lots of branches and lots of directions all at once!!

I started my tree when I was 17, even before the TV series Roots came out and made genealogy more popular. AND long before Ancestry and all of the online resources that are available now. It meant LOTS of paper & notes, trips to cemeteries (which most were not in great shape - thornbushes and blackflies!!), reading old books, researching at the NS Archives, and asking every relative about their families. This literally has created a room full of information - my office.

Now I LOVE all the information that is available online and my research very quickly accelerated, at breakneck speed, to the point that it HAS to be organized into a more efficient system (one someone else could actually find what they were looking for!!), or it will just be seen as piles of useless paper. Worse yet, I will be labeled a hoarder!! (Yes, I have inherited that gene!!) So now my task is to sort, identify, label, digitize, and file years of information. Where to start? One pile or box at a time.

Sometimes things can feel out of control. Things left undone DO pile up. They don't just disappear. In fact, they more often continue to grow and become a huge issue, a lot bigger than if we had handled it sooner. I heard someone say, "Clutter is a result of decisions unmade." Everything not put in it's place, really is because a decision on where to put it was not made at that time. BUT there comes a time to deal with it - no more procrastination - just do it!!

So what is on your "To Do List"? Is there something you have been putting off until another day? Is there someone you need to call to get more information? Are there some things in your "office" that need to be cleaned out, or purged completely? Make plans to deal with it today. Make a new "To Do List"!! Make it realistic - NOT: Clean my office. That's too broad. Break it down into small tasks - ones that take an hour or an afternoon - and then schedule them into your calendar. You'll feel so much better when you can cross each one off as completed.

My first task to getting organized? Make a list of one-hour tasks. Then do one each day this week. No procrastinating!

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