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The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

The Decision Matrix

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

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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.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

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. 

The Law of Triviality
The Law of Triviality

Also known as “bike-shedding" the Law of Triviality states that the amount of time spent discussing an issue in an organization is inversely proportioned to its actual importance

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 proposal for a £350 bike shed
  • A proposal for a £21 annual coffee budget

The committee normally ends up running through the nuclear power plant proposal in little time because it's too advanced to really get into it.

The bike shed proposal takes much longer as everyone knows what it is and has an opinion that they want to air about it.

As the committee moves on to the coffee budget, suddenly everyone is an expert. _Before anyone realizes, they spend longer discussing the £21 coffee budget than the power plant and the bike shed combined.

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.

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Denying you have a problem

Stop saying that you don't have enough time to complete your commitments.

Admit that you need to get better at managing your time and start searching and trying techniques that will help you ...

Not planning your day

It's important to have an idea of what your daily priorities are and tasks you need to complete, preferably the night before. 

Also, make sure you prepare in the evening the outfit you're going to wear and the meals for the following day. Doing this will save time in the morning, and reduce decision fatigue.

"Urgent" vs "Important"

Take all of your tasks and place them into four quadrants:

  • To do first: the most important responsibilities that need to be done today or tomorrow.
  • Schedule: important tasks that are not urgent.
  • Delegate: essential items that are not important.
  • Don't do: tasks that aren't important or urgent. 

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