Hi NHO! Don't feel overwhelmed! It's really easy once you start, it just sounds complicated!
Regarding your compost - no it does not have to be back breaking work! There are probably hundreds of ways to make yourself a compost, but this is. one of the easiest ways I have seen.
Build yourself four squares of 6 or 8 inch boards that are about 3 feet across. Then stack them on top of each other, it will then be about 2.5 to 3 feet tall. Some people put small (1/4 inch) slats in between each square to let air get to the compost. You can also have more than 4 squares, or less, it's all up to you!
Now, fill this with your compost following the rules of a layer of green (coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, manure, green grass, fresh prunings from the garden, etc) and then a layer of browns (dry grass, straw or hay, paper - without colored ink, etc.). Some people often put a shovelful of soil in on top of that, some don't. You can also add stove ashes, egg shells, pond cleanings, vacuum cleaner contents, vegetable pods, chipped up branches - anything that is not or does not contain a meat product. In other parts of the Organic Forum, there is lots of good information about what can go into your compost. You don't have to be a scientist though!
Nothing needs to be measured or anything, just a couple inches of green and then brown each at a time. You also need to make sure that your compost does not totally dry out. You don't want it soaking wet, but it does need to be moist in order to work properly.
Once in while this compost needs to be turned so that everything you have in there is getting well composted. Again, everyone has their own routine - weekly, bi-weekly, monthly.... The way you do this is remove the top square and place it right beside your stack. Shovel the compost into this square, stirring things up as much as you can, until it is filled and then move the next square on top of it. Keep doing this until you have restacked all the squares.
When it is time to harvest the compost, which for me is every fall, but everyone has their own routine (when it looks like nice dark soil) you just empty your stack and use your compost in all your gardens. Whatever has not been fully composted yet can go back into the compost stack to start your next batch!
Don't feel that it is too much for you, start small, and you'll get the hang of it! Hang in there and let us know how you're doing. If you have any other questions, feel free to drop in and ask - we'll be here!