As a professional organizer, I encounter perfectionism a lot. Many, if not most, of my clients are perfectionists. What I’ve seen over the years is that their perfectionism gets in the way of their ability to organize, because they either don’t feel they know enough to start, or they get discouraged because things aren’t going perfectly and stop. Then they call in reinforcements (in the form of me and/or my team).
I’ve been thinking about perfectionism a lot because I’ve started a podcast, with my friend and life coach Shannon Wilkinson, called Getting to Good Enough. In the weekly podcast, we discuss perfectionism and how it can get in the way of accomplishing the things you want do. We provide lots of suggestions for overcoming perfectionism so you more of what you love (like genealogy). Shannon is a newer genealogist and was with me at RootsTech this year–I expect there will be at least one genealogy-related episode!
I think many genealogists who find themselves surrounded by paper might be perfectionists. Some of them may be searching before the perfect system before they’ll start organizing and when it doesn’t appear (because there is no such think as a perfect genealogy organizing system), things pile up until they’re overwhelmed.
Also, some genealogists may avoid doing source citations because creating a perfect source citation so feels challenging they don’t do it at all or decide they’ll do it later. (That’s a feeling I could relate to at the very beginning of my genealogy life.) Genealogy research logs might also fall into the category of things that perfectionist genealogists may avoid doing for fear of doing it wrong. (That’s why I’m satisfied with my “good enough” research log.)
If you can relate to these things, you might want to listen to the podcast! Go to our website, Getting to Good Enough, to listen to individual episodes or click on the iTunes link to subscribe to the podcast. You can also subscribe by email, if you’d like. (Scroll to the website’s footer for that sign up.)
Shannon and I have had a great time recording the episodes and we hope that you find them helpful and fun. It’s a fun new adventure for us!