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:

Visited:
Geneabloggers website (multiple times)
Geneabloggers facebook page (multiple times)
Genealogy Bloggers at RootsTech 2015 facebook page
Genealogy Do-Over facebook page (multiple times)
Ancestories
Genealogical Speakers Guild
FileMarker.com
DearMYRTLE's Genealogy blog
Book of Me
Bag the Web
Scrivener Mini-Bootcamp
Literature and Latte
RootsTech
WikiTree
Ancestry (multiple times)
MyHeritage
Geni
Amazon
Tripped by My Roots
Twitter
Heather Wilkinso Rojo's site
Eventbrite
RootsMagic
Panstories
Living in the Past (my blog)

Read an article on:
Ancestral Findings' site
Geneabloggers
Jeanealogy

Downloaded:
Essential family tree forms
Filemarker free edition
Windows Magnifier
Scrivener
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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