Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interruptions

Being able to focus on just one thing for half a day is an unusual luxury in my world, but it's often the most fun and most efficient way to work. Our work rarely lends itself to that arrangement -- and I'm talking just within the framework of genealogy itself, not even taking into account extraneous events like illnesses, car breakdowns, oven fires, kids' and parents' urgencies, and vacations. Any given project often has to be set aside because the next step involves a trip or waiting for someone else to make the trip, or because a closer deadline takes precedence.

I get so used to being interrupted that I find myself interrupting myself (to check email or Facebook or FamilySearch for new databases, if nothing else). This is rarely a good thing. How do you do interruption management?



Harold Henderson, "Interruptions," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 28 November 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]



5 comments:

Stephanie @ CornAndCotton.com said...

When I want to work with full concentration I make sure that anything non-essential is off my desk... including my desktop. I close all social media. I turn on some music, set a timer (so I know I won't get lost too long) and close out anything else. It seems to be the combination that works for me.

Taco Goulooze said...

I have a text file open, where I state (very briefly) what I was working on, and where I was looking at (weblink, page, etc.). Saved to desktop. Sort of my own logging file.

Rorey Cathcart said...

I'm trying to learn efficiency tools like Evernote and do a better job of logging ideas/finds as I go. This *hopefully* will help me stay focused on the family I'm working on rather than getting sidetracked by a new idea or lead.

I hope this will also give me the confidence I'll be able to remember/get back to that new lead when I need it for another project.

Cathi at Stone House Research said...

When I have to stop working, I jot down at the place I left off in a client report, exactly what my next steps are. I then highlight it in yellow. That way when I come back to it, I don't have to read through the whole report to figure out where I was and what I need to do next. Now if I could just resist checking email and FaceBook...

Dorene from Ohio said...

Harold,

Working with interruptions, whether at home, or at my job, is the only way I know how to work! When I have the chance, I write or email myself notes...to help me recall what my last project was.