There is this convenient little acronym at work we call KIV – Keep In View.
Very useful for shelving away topics that do not require immediate attention, and yet important enough to be kept around for a while longer. If correctly applied, KIV items should be periodically reviewed to see if further action should be applied, and a next review date tagged if not so, along with a reason for waiting.
The danger about KIV, is that it is more often than not used the wrong way. It becomes a dumping ground for matters that we cannot readily decide on, or worse – matters that we do not want to think about because “it could come in useful later”. And before you know it, the pile grows into a mountain and tasks become forgotten, buried beneath countless others.
KIV: Procrastination in Disguise. (Had to use a Transformers pun here.)
Decision-making at work calls for tough choices. It is important to be stay open to ideas and not dismiss them outright, but equally important is the challenge to be realistic, and understand when some ideas have to be canned when their shelf lives has been reached. Calling an unrequited idea junk would not be stretching the definition at all, because all it is doing is occupying valuable physical real estate, or worse? Sapping your mental focus when it should be locked into something else because of distractions like these.
Saying no is hard, but it has to be done.
So stay tough, make a choice the first time you get presented with anything an everything. A sales brochure? A letter? An email? Make a conscious decision to deal with it right from the start; follow it up, file it up for reference, or bin it.
Never, ever leave things hanging around. Stick to this all the time, and your productivity should improve greatly.