The Secret to Getting Things Done

This article is 4th in a series about genealogy news blogging. Click here to read the third part in this series, Blog to Your Strengths.


One of the questions I’ve been asking myself (and others) over the last year is, why are there so few people who are sharing genealogy news for specific localities? There are lots of people who are sharing great bits of news and information, but few who are doing this in a more focused way for a specific locality. And one of the misconceptions that’s out there is that something like this would take a really long time.

That’s the beauty of what I’m advocating here—it doesn’t take a ton of time.

(Aside: Another misconception is that there isn’t enough news to share, but lately? That’s really not true anymore. Even Alaska is getting its share of genealogy news.)

Yes, it takes dedication, and persistence. But there’s a secret to it, something that will help you post news and information on a regular basis—and still get enough sleep at night. The secret is simple: set up a system to gather the information about what these sites are doing regularly. There is power in a system, or a routine, that helps you get more done with less time.

Successful people are simply those with successful habits.



~Brian Tracy

There are three steps to setting up this system:

  1. Set a schedule and a process to check for updates on the sites you’ll follow.
  2. Identify organizations that publish records for your location.
  3. Learn how to follow them – quickly and easily. (Here are a few examples.)

These steps help you establish a habit—something you don’t have to think about. You just do it. There’s a reason Steve Jobs wore black turtlenecks all the time—he didn’t want to have to think about what to wear every day. It took too much time. Trying to figure out which sites to check every day would take too much time—you should be able to just do it.

When you set up a system of checking sites on a regular basis, you’ll be able to check them in just a few minutes at a time, and post about the information regularly. In future posts, I’ll address these ideas in more detail. For now, I’ll briefly address #1:

Set a Schedule

This is one of the most important parts of the entire process—set specific times to check for updates. You might want to look at websites every day. You might only want to look once a week. Or you might fall somewhere in the middle and check a few times a week.

This schedule is the foundation for setting up a reliable system that will set you apart from others.

Decide now – what time will you check? How and where will you do it?

That’s it. Short and sweet, and yet one of the most important things you can commit yourself to doing.


Coming Next: Getting Organized


Image courtesy of Roland zh, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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