A Simple System to Bucket Your Decisions
I went from being stressed by too many decisions everyday to having time for the truly important and big decisions with one simple change. You can learn the basics in two minutes. And like any good system it travels everywhere–work and life.
We often spend too much time on the small decisions and not enough on the big ones. Some of it is fear. We don’t want to tackle the big bad problem just yet. Most of it is a lack of differentiation–we treat all decisions the same.
No one remembers how well you crafted an internal email to put out a fire, if those fires happen every day. I bet even you don’t recall your best email from yesterday.
Through a simple system of transfer of time from the small to the big decisions, we can create more mental space for the tough decisions. For that we need an easy way to tell big from small.
𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 2𝐗2 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐱 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐯𝐬. 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐯𝐬. 𝐢𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞. This is something I learned from a decision-making course by Farnam Street.
All the big decisions in our lives–whom we spend our lives with or whether to buy a house–are consequential and irreversible. They deeply affect our future and we can’t go back once we make them. These are the 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐃𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐨 decisions. They are connected to everything else–family, freedom, fulfilment.
All other decision quadrants are where we need to spend less and less time. These apply to tasks ranging from those that produce marginal results to those that are downright unproductive. Outsource, delegate, offload.
𝐓𝐢𝐩: 𝐆𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭. But also coach them. Remember it’s a big decision for them.
What the 2X2 Decision Matrix does is examine our excuse for busyness by pointing and asking: This is what is most important; are you spending your time here? It forces us to allocate time to our best interests.
𝐒𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫. 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝. 𝐅𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐱. 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥?
Note: The 2X2 Decision Matrix is consistent with Jeff Bezos’ one-way-door and product guru Shreyas Doshi’s leverage-neutral-overhead task frameworks.
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