The Scattershot Genealogist: "Ooh, shiny!"

Yesterday, I was trying to get caught up with a bunch of tasks, getting caught up in my research, getting ready to go to Salt Lake City for RootsTech in a couple of weeks.  Here's what I've pulled from my history, to show what I was up to yesterday:

Geneabloggers website (multiple times)
Geneabloggers facebook page (multiple times)
Genealogy Bloggers at RootsTech 2015 facebook page
Genealogy Do-Over facebook page (multiple times)
Genealogical Speakers Guild
DearMYRTLE's Genealogy blog
Book of Me
Bag the Web
Scrivener Mini-Bootcamp
Literature and Latte
Ancestry (multiple times)
Tripped by My Roots
Heather Wilkinso Rojo's site
Living in the Past (my blog)

Read an article on:
Ancestral Findings' site

Essential family tree forms
Filemarker free edition
Windows Magnifier
ACOM German Civil Registration .pdf
RootsTech iPad app
RootsMagic 7

Googled several ancestors/potential cousins (and found a possible cousin is a registered sex offender -- gaakh!)
Googled API

Ordered a couple of genealogy-related books from Amazon

So . . . can we see what the problem is here?  I've written about being a "slapdash genealogist," in terms of not feeling very organized overall in my research.  But this is a little different -- on one day, I seem to go from subject to subject, as I read people's posts on facebook, and I want to follow up on ideas or suggestions from those posts, I go to a website and then that brings something else up, so I go there, I frantically download things that may be of use, I bookmark this and that -- and in the end, what have I accomplished? 

I remember feeling this way in grad school, writing my dissertation -- every article I read led to other articles, different ideas, different possible topics.  I finally had to just say "STOP!" and focus on what I had, or the work was never going to be done.

I guess focus is the issue, how to keep myself focused on one topic in a particular session.  Robert Frost talks about "how way leads on to way,"* and that's the problem here -- I start off on one path, but then something grabs my attention, and something else, and on it goes, until the original intention I held when I sat down to work is lost.

 This is how I look, after a couple of hours.

What tricks or techniques do you use to stay focused on a particular subject?  If you see something interesting, how do you essentially save that for later, so you don't get distracted from your original intention?  I'd love to have some advice.

*Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"


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