Researching right down the Rabbit Hole

researching down the rabbit hole
Researching right into the rabbit hole

You know what I’m talking about, jumping down the rabbit hole. I’ve been researching on the Interwebs, and one link leads to another leads to another leads to another. And now here I am, with 27 open tabs in my browser of things I need to read, plus a bunch of To Do’s reminding me to read this article and listen to that podcast.


And this is a problem. I know it’s a problem, because I find myself so mired in research and getting started with things that I have trouble actually getting started. But when I just get started, then I tend to royally fork things up.

Somebody royally forked up.
I hear ya, Eleanor.

So how do I overcome this?

I’m trying to:

  • Remind myself to take a deep breath. It will all work out in the end. (Right? Right?!)
  • Just start. “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
  • Break things down. I’ve got a Trello board broken down by months, with color coded categories. When I start to feel like there’s a huge list of TO DO monsters attacking my brain, I break it down into tasks on the Trello board.
  • I use the Trello board to help me come up with Habitica To Dos and Dailies so that I tackle smaller problems, instead of just aiming straight for the big picture and then FREAKING OUT.
  • Break the researching into smaller To Dos. Rather than feeling like I need to read, view, or listen to all 27 tabs right now, I add a recurring Daily in Habitica with a list of all the articles I’ve found, and try to knock one out every few days.
  • I set time limits for how long I can try to conquer a task. “Work on resume” is way too nebulous. “Work on resume (20 minutes)” is manageable, and eventually I will hit the end of this task.
  • Share my findings with my husband, who reminds me that I am way overthinking this, breaks it down to a simpler solution, and helps me get back on track. He’s the yin to my yang and thank goodness I have him.

So you mad people who are already down the rabbit hole, how do you navigate?

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”