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The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

https://fs.blog/2018/09/decision-matrix/

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The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters
The decisions we spend the most time on are rarely the most important ones. Not all decisions need the same process. Sometimes, trying to impose the same process on all decisions leads to difficulty identifying which ones are most important, bogging us down and stressing us out.

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Not all decisions are the same

The decisions we spend the most time on are rarely the most important ones.

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The Decision Matrix

The Decision Matrix
This is a decision making version of the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps you distinguish between what’s important and what’s urgent, in a simple and easy to understand way.

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The Decision Matrix

The Decision Matrix
Decisions can be classified as:
  • Irreversible and inconsequential
  • Irreversible and consequential
  • Reversible and inconsequential
  • Reversible and consequential

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Save Time by delegating

Save Time by delegating
Delegated both types of inconsequential decisions to subordinates or the team helps save a lot of time.

Inconsequential decisions are the perfect training ground to develop judgment.

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Tricky Decisions

Tricky Decisions
Reversible and consequential decisions  trick you into thinking they are one big important decision.

In reality, reversible and consequential decisions are the perfect decisions to run experiments and gather information.

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What to focus on

Consequential and irreversible decisions are the ones that you really need to focus on, and the extra time and energy saved can be utilized in this area.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

10/10/10 Rule

Before making a decision, considers how you’ll feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.

It’s easy to make short-term decisions that may be beneficial 10 minutes...

Pareto’s Law

In anything we do, there’s always ~20% of activities that will deliver 80% of our desired results.

It’s easy to be wrapped up in ‘busy’ work without ever getting anything done. Pareto’s Law is a useful mental model to be more effective, rather than just be efficient.

Parkinson’s Law

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. So try placing artificial time limitations.

If we’re given three hours to complete a task that normally would take an hour, we’ll find a way to fill those three hours. However, when we’re down to the final thirty minutes, we’re suddenly feeling the pressure to get things done. 

Bikeshedding explained

The metaphor is as follows: Imagine a financial committee meeting to discuss a three-point agenda.

  • A proposal for a £10 million nuclear power plant
  • A ...

Having an opinion

The simpler a topic, the more people will have an opinion about it. However, when we mostly understand a topic, we feel compelled to say something, lest we look foolish.

With any topic, we should seek out the inputs from those who have done the work to have an opinion. If we want to contribute, it should be something valuable that will improve the outcome of the decision.

Strategies for avoiding bike-shedding

  • Have a clear and focused purpose for your meeting. A specific purpose for the meeting filters all other decisions, including who should be attending.
  • Understand that the most informed opinions are the most relevant.
  • If your purpose is to make a decision, consider having "fewer cooks in the kitchen."
  • Getting the result you desire depends on having the right people in the meeting.
  • Ensure to have a designated individual in charge of making the final judgment, not a committee.

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Jack Mezirow

"By far the most significant learning experience in adulthood involves critical self-reflection - reassessin..."

Jack Mezirow

3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

  • Your goals (the destination)
  • Your current situation (your coordinates)
  • The path that connects both of them (the route).

A very simple, but crucial principle: if you don’t know where you are, you can never reach the place where you want to be.

The world of the status quo bias

Making an alternative choice is hard because we are neurologically wired to favor the default solution, even if it brings suboptimal results.

As the complexity of a decision increases, so does our tendency to stick with the answer we know.