Find Time to Do Family HIstory
Beginning Genealogy

3 Secrets for Making Time for Family History

“How do you do it? With five children to homeschool and service in my church, how do I find time to do genealogy?” I hear this compliment all the time, and it’s time I share my secrets.

Life can seem so busy that we feel like we’re Bugs Bunny playing every position on a baseball field. Many articles are written about managing time so you can do more.; however, more time cannot be found. You have to plan your time to do what matters most. Today, I’ll share my three secret weapons for making time to do something that strengthens my family and myself in the process.

Busy Lives Timer

A Timer

With a timer, I can tell myself to stop. And when I know I will have a defined time to devote to my projects, I am more likely to make time for them because my tasks will not take hours. I can plan for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. I just need to stop when the buzzer goes off.

Make Time for Genealogy

A Calendar

What things do you put on your regular calendar? Dr. Appointments? Conferences? Meetings? How about a family history task?

Time doesn’t magically appear out of thin air. If you pick a specific day on your calendar and keep your appointment, then you will find time in your busy life to do something related to family history.

Just make it easy to remember… every Tuesday at 10 am; the 15th of every month, the 2nd Sunday of every month. Whatever makes sense and that you can protect like a doctor’s appointment. Put it on your calendar and then don’t let anything get in the way. Make a date with yourself!

Know Your Genealogy Tasks

A Specific Task

How many of you can go into a kitchen full of potential ingredients and make something yummy and tasty without advanced planning? I stand in awe of y’all)). I am not like that. I have to know what I need to make… a dinner, and appetizer, a snack, a treat that I probably shouldn’t be eating. (Pause).

Your genealogy projects should have defined tasks. Check on Will collection for Townleys in Cincinnati, Ohio. Write the story of how I met my husband. Ask my aunt what she remembers about her father.

If you define your tasks before your date with yourself, you’ll have more success than if spent 15 minutes trying to decide what to do (or remember what you did last time) and your buzzer goes off, and you haven’t made any headway. Know what you’re going to do during your date!

That’s it! My secret weapon for making time for busy people to work on family history. A timer, a calendar, and a specific task.

What secrets do you have for finding time for genealogy?

Learn the secrets for making time when you think you have no time to do family history. #genealogy #busymom #familyhistory

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.


  • Devon Noel Lee

    Olivia… I hear ya! Which task to do? One thing I do is have a number of tasks to choose from and then select the one I'm in the mood for. That way I don't force myself to work on things when I'm not motivated.

  • Olivia Jewell

    Love it. Way to make it simple! I need to put those ideas into action. The hardest part for me is selecting which task…aye aye aye!! Thanks for sharing.

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