Showing posts with label Time Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Time Management. Show all posts

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Slow and Easy - With a Few Distractions

Cypress Gardens-4Its been a week or so since my restart. Things are going pretty good and I think I can pat myself on the back.

I have been able to start on my photo organizing adventure using Photoshop Lightroom and have been making some ok progress reviewing information in my genealogy database. 

I said I was going to start with our parents but I started with our Great Grandpa Pakledinaz. Not sure why I started with him, but at least I started. I use Legacy Family Tree as my database so I want to make sure I am taking full advantage of the software and entering sources correctly and as intended by the software. So, as I go through each entry in my database I am also verifying the source and entering it correctly.

Even though I would much rather be on the search for new information, I am very glad that I am taking a back-to-basics approach. I have only reviewed a few things so far, but I am finding holes in my previous research and finding new things out. For instance, in 1910 our Great Grandma Pakledinaz stated that she spoke German and not English on the census. I knew she spoke German from talking with family, but I did not know that she immigrated to the States (1909) not being able to speak English. Adds a new dimension to the struggle she must have faced uprooting herself and traveling thousands of miles to start a new life at 19 years old. Kind of puts some things in perspective for me and I really want to find out more about her life. Which leads to the difficulties of this week: I have come down with and must battle RDS (Research Distraction Syndrome).

I have been quickly diverted so many times this week into doing actual research and not sticking with my plan of just working with what I have. I find myself entering the 1930 Census information and notice I do not have the 1940 downloaded yet, so off I go to to check it out. Before I know it, I’m looking at military records, public data records, etc… And not for John Pakledinaz, but for any and all other Pakledinaz that comes up in a search. I must stop this – I would be much further in my restart, if it weren’t for RDS.

I am making a new pledge to fight and refrain from RDS until I can get what I already have completed, which I am guessing will take about 1 year. Sounds like a lot but I have a lot of information also.

For those that have tried what I am doing, do you find you come down with RDS? Let us know in the comments section how you fight RDS.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin for that family.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

A New Start

It has been a very long time since posting, almost 2 years to be exact. Not that I have not been thinking of the blog or my family history pursuits, these are on my mind nearly everyday. However, life events sometimes take over. I have retired from the military and with this came a move from Germany back to the states and a job search. Found the job but it was not where we expected. We planned on living in Michigan, my roots, but the job has taken us to South Carolina.

We are now finally settled in our new location, the kids are in a school that they like, and it just may be the right time to commence this journey again.

This does not mean that I have unlimited time to research and write. I still have a full time job and I am also pursuing a Masters Degree. Add the time with the family and time management is going to be a must for me.

My re-start will consist of a re-evaluation of sources and information beginning with our parents and then moving on down the line; an almost from scratch re-start but not quite as extensive as Kellie over at the Leaves of my Family Tree blog. I will also start a project to get control of the many family pictures I have accumulated over the years. Some are already digital but many are not so I will be spending much time at the scanner. I will be using Adobe Lightroom to manage this photo collection. I already use Lightroom as another hobby of mine is photography so that is no cost to me. I got the inspiration and idea to use Lightroom from The Family Curator.

So, I am planning on knocking out a post at least every other week or so. I hope to do more but I need to be realistic about what I CAN do and not what I WANT to do.

So, how many more of you out there have restarted after a long break? What advice can you give?

Thanks for reading and Keep Diggin’ for that family.


By the way, I did update my Surnames list so check out that page.


Photo from: Next TwentyEight

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Objective Update!

CheckAugust is now half over – where did the month go so fast? I need to provide an update on where we are with the objectives that we set out to complete this month.

First things first – this is the first month that we are trying this new approach to getting things done. Combining these objectives with everything else that needs to get done during the month can seem very overwhelming at times. However, I think we are doing pretty good. We have even used some of the tips/tricks that I talked about in my Genealogy Time Management – Focus post (I would hope that I’m using my own tips/tricks). The main thing that keeps us on track is that I block out time on my calendar to get certain things done. I have time blocked out for homework assignments, family time, and research. I have even added blog posts to my calendar this week because I was neglecting the posts. Enough of the blabbing and on to the update.

  1. We will find and write to the local churches to see about a birth record for William Capen. Yeah! We can mark this complete because my wife completed this. We did not find a birth record (boo!) but we did find a record of his baptism in the church register. We will have to add getting a copy of this to our to-do objectives.
  2. Relook at the past searches I did for Joseph Lucas’ birth record – see where I need to look next. Not doing so good here – haven’t started but the time is on my calendar for this coming week.
  3. Plan the visit to William Capen’s grave and the WWI battlefields which are nearby (this satisfies my military history needs also). Not so good here either but now on my calendar for next week when I am off work for the week (yeah!)
  4. Danzig – do some initial probes as to what records are available for this area and the time period we need to look at. Ditto as the previous two objectives Sad smile

I am going to say that the wife did great because she got something done already. I have to get off my butt and do some of this stuff that I love to do so much. But, that is one of the reasons for this mid-month look at our objectives; keep us on track. I think this ‘look’ has done its job because the lacking objectives are now on my calendar. I just have to stick to the plan as much as possible.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


Photo by Matt Carman

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It Has Got to Get Better!!

frustrationI read a post by Cheryl over at 1ancestry2littletime blog last night about how she started her blog on the spur of the moment and really didn’t know what she was doing or where to get help. Well, I think she is doing just fine (better than me) and she offers some great advice for newbie bloggers.

I feel her pain and am in the same boat. I started this blog with some thought as to content and purpose but I did not have posts planned out yet. I just figured I love to write and how hard can it be to write at least one post every week. Oh, how I was wrong. I forgot to think about how time consuming putting meaningful posts together would be.

I also did not think about all the other demands on my time. Like the wife, the kids, work (wish I could quit this), college (2 classes at a time) and the household duties. Things like paying the bills (wish I could quit that, too), mowing the lawn, fixing everything. What about the other hobbies I have that I don’t have time for. Like photography and travel.rothenberg_scene We are living in Germany and one of my passions is history and there is so many historical sites to see all over the place. Oh, and fall sports start in two weeks and all the kids are participating and all in a different activity; Nathan in soccer, Tyler in flag football, and Katie in cheerleading. Oh, I so hope they are all on different days and times, too. That will help my time management woes so very much. I didn’t even mention the family history research also. Oh yeah, I do need to sleep also, right?

So, all of these demands on my time that I didn’t think about when I decided to start this blog. But, I really love writing and family history so blogging is a way to put the two together and also get some much needed writing practice. Plus, I get a great feeling when I can finally hit that publish button after working on a post. However, truth be told, blogging is strictly self-imposed time.

All the other demands on my time have a higher power that I must answer to if they don’t get done; my wife, boss, or professor. And most of those things-to-do have specific deadlines to meet. With the blog, I am only answering to myself so when something needs to slip because I’ve run out of time, it is the first to go.

I’ve written a couple other posts on time management (Genealogy Time Management and Focus) but just can’t seem to pull it all together. Every thing else other than the blogging time is working pretty well. I need to figure this out because I will not fail at this blog.

I am curious how all you other more successful bloggers fit the post writing into your busy schedules. Please leave me suggestions in comments.

Thanks for reading - keep diggin’ up that family.


I would like to thank Cheryl of 1ancestry2littletime for the inspiration for this post.

Photos by me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Genealogy Time Management–Focus

time4[4]I said that I would be trying out the concepts of the article by Patricia Law Hatcher that I mentioned in my post Genealogy Time Management. However, before I can really get into her concepts I decided that for this to work for me then I must define some of her key concepts for the plan. The first will be focus.

We have all experienced the lack of focus in our research. In today’s age of computer and internet research it is too easy to get distracted and then all of a sudden you are looking at records of ancestors that in no way connect to what you originally set out to find.

What I propose to do in order to get focused is first establish some goals and objectives for my research. My goals will be something that I want to conquer within the next six months to a year. Monthly, I will establish some objectives to complete that will bring me closer to those goals. Establishing these objectives will pinpoint specific things I must know or find in order to meet that goal. They will give me just one thing to concentrate on during a research session.

Now that I will have goals for the year and objectives for the upcoming month I can actually get down to doing some research. But finding the time for this is much easier said than done as I’m sure most family historians will attest to. However, as Ms. Hatcher suggests in her article, I will schedule this time each week and if something comes up that interferes then I will reschedule my research time immediately.

We have kids so our house isn’t the most optimum place to have the peace and quiet needed to actually get some good research done. So me and the wife are going to have to work together in order to schedule our time. I can take the kids out to the park on Sunday afternoon while she stays home and dives into her research. She can do the same thing for me. Or maybe we both get the kids ready for bed and tucked in and then take an hour or two at night to conduct some research. It can work if we just work together and make a commitment to it.

The final thing I want to discuss is my plan for dealing with the inevitable distracting record or article that will grasp my attention. I do not want to ignore a possible find so I need to do something with it right when I see it. So, I will always keep a separate pad of paper or my todo list handy during research. When I come across that possible record that is not what I am looking for I can make a quick note of what it is, what it may tell me, and where to find it again. That should take all but 2 minutes to complete and is now a todo for a future session. If I capture the possible find information in this way then it should clear my mind so I can press ahead with my original search.

To recap, here is a summary of the concepts I must master to get focused:

  1. Establish my goals and objectives
  2. Concentrate on one objective for each research session
  3. Schedule the session on my calendar
  4. Deal with distractions immediately by adding to my todo list

If I can do what I just talked about then I can maintain the focus I need in order to make great use of the limited time I have to devote to my family history research each week.

I am curious how others with limited time each week maintains their focus so please leave a comment with your ideas.

Thanks for listening and keep diggin’ for that family.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Genealogy Time Management

timeIn my ‘About this Blog’ page I mentioned that I read an article a long time ago about doing genealogy in four hours a week. Well, I was right and I found that article. I actually found  a copy on my hard drive and then found that it still exists in the archives. It is written my Patricia Law Hatcher in March 2003 and you can find that article here.. I am going to reread this article several times and see if me and the wife can implement some of her advise. I will keep you posted on what works and what doesn’t. However, if I keep posting on the blog then that may be a clue that something must be working.

Until next time, keep diggin’ for family,


Photo by: John-Morgan