Here’s the next in my occasional series of bite-size Quick Tips. Click on the Quick Tips tag for my other Quick Tips. Because I tend to write longer posts, I wanted to provide a quick-to-read (and quick-to-write) post every couple of weeks on a small topic that pops into my head. This is one I use literally every day, in many aspects of my life.
Use a timer to stay focused
It’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole when you’re researching and the next thing you know hours have passed and it’s past your bedtime (or you’ve missed a meal). Sometimes the likelihood of a long session is enough to stop you from starting a research session altogether.
Setting a timer can really help. It has two benefits: It reminds you to stop when the timer goes off. And knowing the timer will be going off soon is often enough to keep you from falling down that rabbit hole in the first place. When you’re tempted to stray, you can make a note to follow up on later and get back to to your research focus.
I almost always set a timer before a genealogy research session because I usually can’t afford to spend hours on a research session, no matter how enjoyable it is (or badly I want to solve a problem). I use the timer on my iPhone or Apple Watch, but you can ask Google (or Alexa) to set a timer you or use an old-fashioned kitchen timer.