Friday, December 7, 2012

Overcommitted and Underperforming

I'm beginning to figure out why many of the genealogy organizations I belong to don't get as much done as it seems like we could. We're all trying to do too much and spreading ourselves too thin, myself included. So when a deadline looms there's a flurry of activity, but in between things are pretty quiet.

Partly that's because what we really want and need to do is not attend committee meetings (even on line), but dig in the archives! And partly it's because we'd like to do more and are not very clear about how an additional commitment will affect our schedule. When a new commitment looks tempting but is not feasible or not on our must-do list, we need the information and the clear priorities to say "No" and make it stick. I know a few people who have both, but they are rare. I'm not one of them.

I've taken to asking what I will quit doing if I join this project or that committee. Usually I can't answer the question and sometimes I join anyway. Then I'm always in a hurry and often late. Is it possible that we would accomplish more if we tried to do less?

Harold Henderson, "Overcommitted and Underperforming," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 7 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Debbie V. said...

well said.

Jean A said...

I second and third this. As an officer in agenealogical organization we constantly struggle with all the things we "should" be doing.