For the last couple of years, I have found myself becoming too busy to spend time on my family history research all too often. I always include it on my to-do list and it almost always ends up being one of the last few things without a tick beside it. Sound familiar?
Well, I may have found a way to make sure it doesn’t happen (as much) anymore.
Do it with a friend! I know, this isn’t really anything groundbreaking, and I’m sure some of you are already engaged in something similar. For the last few weeks, a friend (who I met at Congress) and I have been meeting up via Google chat every week for a one hour catch-up session.
We chat about anything genea-related we’ve been up to for the past week, and it’s great. Every week some of the same things happen.
1. I always feel tired and force myself to sign in, and am always glad I did.
2. I always realise I have done more in the past week than I thought I had.
3. I always enjoy the friendly chat.
4. I always feel motivated to do more.
5. I always make a plan for at least one thing I hope to achieve in the next week.
6. I always learn something new.
I love that knowing I have to show up for this informal chat means that I feel accountable, like I HAVE TO have something to report back to my friend. Sometimes I’ve signed in thinking I had not really done anything, but during the chat realised I had: read an interesting article/blog post; tried new searches; caught up on ‘what’s new’ on a subscription site or at the very least, spent time thinking about a brick wall, or a new approach. I’ve realised how easy it is to feel like you’ve done nothing just because you didn’t add anyone to your tree. No more of that!
I expect you could achieve a similar feeling of accountability with a blog. By making your plans public, you’d feel like you had to stick to them (at least some/most of them). Even just knowing you’re going to post regularly would mean you made sure you had something new to say.
So far in our chats, we’ve mostly updated each other with what we’ve done, as well as shared plans on how to approach the next step, or the next week. Both of us are going over our existing research, hoping to record evidence better than we had been, to ‘clean up’ our trees, and basically – as we’re both quite time-poor – spending some time to make sure we’re organised. Having someone to bounce ideas off is a new part of my research I don’t want to give up.
We’re also making a list of topics we can research together once we’ve sorted our trees/documentation/selves. I’m sure we can help each other out with brick walls! Tell me, do you have some kind of plan to share your progress like this? I’d love to hear about it.