Monday, December 19, 2016

How to Eat an Elephant - Part 2

In part one of this post, I talked about how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Move your enormous project along a little bit at a time and before long you'll be done. This really is the way I accomplish a lot of my genealogy and other goals. However, some people don't agree with that way of getting large projects done. They say, to expand on the eating an elephant analogy, that you'll soon get tired of elephant. Plus, once the dead elephant has been sitting around for a while, it begins to smell.

So how do these "nay-sayers" say you should eat an elephant? Cut it up into large chunks, pass them out and have an elephant eating party! Get together with your genealogy society or genealogy-interested friends and assign parts of the project to all of the members. Do this and you'll be done in no time.

This is definitely another good way to get a large project done. This is how Family Search works. Volunteers sign up and are assigned a portion of a collection of images to index. In short order, that indexing project is done. This is proven by the large number of completed indexing projects that come out of Family Search each week. I know genealogical societies also accomplish large goals like this. from cemetery headstone transcriptions to indexing of old city directories, you can find many a large project that was done quickly and easily by small groups of motivated people.

So if you're given several large boxes of photos and documents from your parents or grandparents, split them up into smaller chunks and have your brothers, sisters and cousins scan some of them in. If you do this, you'll each have a much smaller task to complete and it will be done much quicker than if one person did it all. The challenge comes in when you're trying to find others to help with your project that have the necessary skills and/or equipment,but assuming you can find enough people that are interested in the final result, you should have no problem getting it done. Just make sure that every person involved has clear goals spelled out so there's no question in how it should be done or in what timeframe.

Have the enormous elephant of a project staring you down? Need to get it eaten? Take care of it yourself, small bites at a time, making a little progress virtually every single day and you'll get it done. Or throw a party! Get a group of people to assist and you'll be done before you know it. Either way, you can tackle those huge projects. The trick is to just get started.


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