This New Year’s Eve I have resolved to remember my father’s advice, “Don’t let a big project overwhelm you, break it into small manageable parts.”
Personally, I have often put off starting a huge project because it seemed to be way too much to tackle. It is amazing how many other things get done when I am procrastinating!
If you had told me five years ago how many hours I would spend working with my family’s DNA results, I might never have started. That would have been sad as I would have missed out on the endless pleasure genetic genealogy has brought me and the many others I have helped.
If I had known twenty years ago where writing down the family stories would take me, I could not have imagined the thousands of hours I would spent on genealogy. I have enjoyed just about every minute of it, except perhaps going to the library or archive and not finding the record I was searching for.
Both of these hobbies are easy to break into small manageable parts. One family line at a time or one location at a time or one group of connected matches at a time or even one chromosome segment at a time. Whatever works for you.
I had been overwhelmed thinking about organizing and tidying up my office. Two years ago my New Year’s resolution was to reorganize it. I have a whole small bedroom with closet space and plenty of light, why such a shambles!
In that spirit, a week ago I started doing a little bit of office clean up each day. This is working, even if somewhat slowly.
It may still look messy to you but it is greatly improved. Compare it to the picture at the bottom of the page. You can see the floor now. Notice the water glass in the open desk drawer. Having destroyed a keyboard and a laptop by spilling liquids (usually coffee), I have devised this way of protecting my electronics!
To get started, I also reminded myself of the advice I gave my son when I saw how messy his dorm room was, “Everything needs a place that it goes when you are not using it.” Or to a friend whose apartment was a disaster area, “When you walk through the room, pick up one thing that you can put away now and do that. Eventually it will all be under control.”
When I went back to my January 2015 post to get the photo, I noticed this comment from organizing expert, genealogist, and blogger Janine Adams ” My big piece of advice is to work on it small, frequent bites. Don’t wait until you have a free weekend and think that you’ll spend two solid days on it. In my opinion, an hour a day for a week is better than spending a day on it once a week. ” Great minds think similar thoughts …
A Happy New Year to all of you!