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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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.
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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

Eisenhower Decision Matrix

The matrix consists of a square divided into 4 quadrants:

  1. Important/Urgent quadrants are done immediately and personally;
  2. Important/Not Urgent quadrants get an end date and are done personally;
  3. Unimportant/Urgent quadrants are delegated;
  4. Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrants are dropped.
The sunk cost fallacy
Humans are especially susceptible to the “sunk cost fallacy”—a psychological effect where we feel compelled to continue doing something just because we’ve already put time and effort into it.

But the reality is that no matter what you spend your time doing, you can never get that time back. And any time spent continuing to work towards the wrong priority is just wasted time.

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