4 Decision-Making Frameworks to Make Better & Smarter Decisions

I often talk about decision-making as a key skill for getting ahead. And it truly is, both in our professional lives but also in the personal sphere. Like everyone, I sometimes struggle to make decisions as fast as I’d like to and spend too much time overthinking. Over the years, I’ve discovered and used different decision-making framework, and below are my favourite 4 decision-making frameworks to make better & smarter decisions:

Wearing a favourite fall outfit: striped preloved M. Dutti sweater, Market slip skirt and my newest bag – the Loewe puzzle.

The Eisenhower Matrix

This is perhaps one of the most known decision-making frameworks and simplest to use, yet extremely effective. The two dimensions that it applies are importance of a decision or task and urgency. It classifies tasks into four quadrants based on whether they are important/unimportant, and urgent/not urgent. It’s great to use for prioritising tasks and work. By applying it, you can easily define which tasks to address immediately, schedule, delegate, or delete.

The Impact x Effort Matrix

This one is a long-time favourite of mine that I use on a daily basis for a lot of things. I use it to prioritise my own work and the tasks I spend time on, but also for product decisions and product planning. Should we build a certain feature, or should we embark on a certain project? It’s great to understand what you should prioritise and when, and what you shouldn’t. It allows you to identify quick wins, big bets/projects, fill-ins and thankless tasks.

The Hard Choice Model

This framework looks at two dimensions: how impactful or how great the consequence of a decision is, and how comparable it is to other options. This way, it allows you to see whether decisions are a no-brainer, a hard choice or something in between. Thus making it much easier to move forward with your decision. 

One Way and Two Way Door Decisions

I couldn’t not mention Bezos’ favourites decision-making framework. He classified decisions in two types. Some are one-way doors and almost impossible to reverse. Others are two-way doors, meaning they are easy to reverse, and mistakes can be corrected quickly. The challenge is that we tend to think most decisions are of type 1, and therefore and up spending way too much time and energy on them, when in fact very few decisions are like that – big and irreversible. Most decisions are of type 2, and therefore should be made quickly, so we can save our energy and methodical & calculated processes for those big game changer decisions of type 1 only.

Now tell me, what’s you favourite decision-making framework? Do you use any of the above in your day to day? Or maybe you have a decision-making tip you’d care to share?

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