Are you feeling a bit “stuck” in your genealogy research? Another difficulty faced by genealogists is finding the time to sit down and do some research. One way to solve these kinds of problems is by doing a 30 x 30 challenge.
What is a 30 x 30 challenge? The idea is very simple. Instead of trying to fit several hours in a row of genealogy research into your busy schedule, you work on fitting in 30 minutes at a time. Not everyone can devote entire weekends to genealogy, but most people can find a spare half-hour, every day, over the course of a month.
The 30 x 30 challenge can start whenever you want it to. Pick a day to begin – whatever day you like. Spend 30 minutes on that day working on your genealogy research, your family tree, or sorting out family photos. Stop what you are doing after 30 minutes has passed. The next day, pick up where you left off and do another 30 minutes of work. When that small project is completed, pick another one to focus on.
There are many advantages to doing a 30 x 30 challenge. You do not have to start it at the beginning of a month (although, that is a perfectly valid choice). There is no limit to how many times you can attempt to complete this challenge. If you find it helpful, continue it for another 30 days. If your life got busier than expected, and you dropped the challenge, you can restart it the next day.
Breaking a large task, like genealogy research, or organizing family history, into 30 minute increments helps to keep the task from becoming overwhelming. It also gives people a feeling of accomplishing something each and every day while the challenge is going on. That feeling alone can inspire people to dig in and focus on another 30 minutes of work the next day.
Some people are quite able to motivate themselves to do a 30 x 30 challenge. They have some small goals in mind and are intrinsically motivated. If this describes you, it might be a good idea to set a 30 minute timer. It serves as a clear reminder to stop after 30 minutes.
Other people may do better if they find a group (or, at the very least, a partner) who is also doing the 30 x 30 challenge at the same time. Many find that they are more motivated to do a challenge if they have someone else that will hold them accountable to sticking to it. It’s harder to just give up and quit if you know that a friend is going to ask you what you accomplished.
Image by Luis Hernandez on Flickr.
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