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The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

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: How to Prioritize What Matters

The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

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

fs.blog

6

Key Ideas

Not all decisions are the same

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

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.

The Decision Matrix

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

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.

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.

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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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.

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Learning how to prioritize...

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Master lists

Capture everything on a Master List and then break it down by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

  1. Start by making a master list—a document, app, or piece of paper where every current and future task will be stored. 
  2. Once you have all your tasks together, break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  3. When setting your priorities, try not to get too “task oriented” - you want to make sure you’re prioritizing the more effective work.
Eisenhower Matrix

The matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that answers that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones:

  • Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
  • Important, but not urgent: Decide when you’ll do these and schedule it
  • Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else
  • Neither urgent nor important: Drop these from your schedule as soon as possible.

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