Every year I set my genealogy resolutions. Jan. 2011 Resolutions consisted of one goal - seemingly a simple goal. That goal was to stay focused on one genealogy project at a time.
I didn't meet it. In fact I didn't even come close. I tried. Believe me I tried. But if there's one thing I learned from this "failure" it's that I am an impulsive genealogist.
I get side-tracked easily. Repetition bores me, so a project that begins as a fun genealogy project quickly becomes a tedious task for me. I love the challenge of the hunt! I grit my teeth when I reach hour 3 or 4 of entering the information that I found in my research.
I can happily spend 10 hours researching and not notice the passage of time. But show me the results of my 10 hours of research and tell me it's time to enter all that data, and the moaning and groaning and whining begins.
So much tedious time-consuming W O R K when I could be having F U N doing more research, finding out more about these new ancestors!
A Typical Example
Let's look at a few examples - I started a project to look through Poor Law Union correspondence and extract the names of poor people being sent from England to Canada in the mid 1800s. Then I did some research in census records to find more information on these individuals. It was so much fun. What wasn't fun was organizing it and creating the webpages to put it all online! I did finally finish it but only through sheer will power and a lot of stern scolding from myself to myself.
While working on the Poor Law Union records, I began concentrating on putting all my old cemetery photos into videos for Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel. I love doing that. But that's my problem - creating Cemetery Walks became my "break" from the Poor Law Union records.
Poor Law Union boring me today? - no problem, set it aside and work on the Cemetery Walk videos. Oh, that's boring me now because I am trying to find all the photos from 3 years ago? Okay take a break from that boredom and scan my family photos. Oops, two months has gone by and I haven't gotten back to the Poor Law Union records - ack!
You see my conundrum. I jump from task to task. When task A becomes boring to me I'm off to Task B. Then C and D and.... on and on it goes! And so I end up with anywhere from 10 to a dozen genealogy projects on the go all at the same time.
Genealogy Strengths vs Weaknesses
I've fought this all my life. But I've finally learned something very important! I need to work WITH my strengths, not against them! Instead of trying to become what I'm not, I need to focus on what I am. That way I can improve in my strength areas instead of fighting my own nature all the time.
What are my strengths? I'm a very thorough and focused researcher. I'm good at finding information then taking taking that newly-found fact, analyzing it and figuring out what it means in the overall picture, and where to look for the next clue or fact. I also work well with a deadline.
What are my weaknesses? I'm not good at data entry. Repititous tasks bore me. I skip over tasks I find boring, setting them aside for "later". But "later" doesn't always come!
2012 Genealogy Resolutions
My 2012 New Year's Resolutions are:
1. Focus on my genealogical strengths (researching and fact-finding) and continue to build and improve on those
2. Improve on my organization of genealogical records, but not worry or stress over not entering it all in minute detail in my genealogy program
3. Set deadlines. Make one day per week the day I work on Project A and a second day of the week the day to work on Project B. No more worrying if I jump from project to project! Allow myself to jump around as much as I want but work towards deadlines for completion of Projects A, B, C etc. I need variety but I also need the deadline to provide structure and a timeline for completion of my multitude of genealogy projects
And so I've not only come up with what I believe are more realistic 2012 Genealogy Resolutions, I've
also come up with a new method of organization of my genealogy. I'll
write about that next week so please do come back, read my idea and jump
in with your own ideas, suggestions and thoughts!