5 models of informed decision making

Every day we have to make many decisions. Some of them are not very important, while others change our lives significantly. And each of us, at least once, is faced with a difficult choice, when doubts about the correctness of the decision turned into torture. Moving, changing jobs, choosing a place to study - all these are difficult situations.


Nevertheless, the agony of choice can be alleviated. Numerous models of decision-making, based on the experience of other people, have been developed for this purpose. We will talk about seven of them. Using these techniques and methods, you will be able to make more informed choices, avoid accidental mistakes, and always evaluate the consequences of any decision you make, both in the short and long term.


1. The 10/10/10 rule

Of course, when making any decision, you think about the consequences of your choices in the future. To give yourself confidence at such moments, you can use the 10/10/10 rule. Three tens in this case mean three time intervals, about which you need to ask yourself the following questions:


How will I feel about this decision 10 minutes from now?

How will I feel about this decision 10 months from now?

How will I feel about this decision 10 years from now?

By answering these questions, you will be able to assess or at least imagine the consequences of your choices in the long term. This is especially true for difficult decisions that have the potential to affect your life in the future.


For example, if you're too lazy to go to the gym, think about the consequences - and resolving doubts will be much easier.


2. Loyal Fan

The availability of information and the ease with which it can be disseminated allows any artist or entrepreneur to influence his or her own career by acquiring a loyal fan base. And when it comes to decision-making techniques, it is not the number of fans that matters, but the fact of their presence.


The essence of this rule is that there is no point in trying to please everyone or the conventional majority. It is much easier to achieve success and inner harmony by winning the love of a few. Although this model of decision making is originally designed for artists and entrepreneurs, it can be useful in any endeavor.


If you follow this rule in personal or professional relationships, you will find it easier to choose your social circle. You will realize that it is much more valuable to "fall in love" with the "right" people, rather than trying to win the love of everyone you meet on your life path.


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3. Pareto's Law.

You've probably heard of this law more than once. Its essence is that 20% of all our efforts produce 80% of the results. Accordingly, the opposite is also true: 80% of effort is rewarded with only 20% of the end result. And so it goes in any business.


Pareto's law

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

The rule was formulated by Italian economist Wilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of all wealth is concentrated in the hands of 20% of the people. Today, this ratio holds true for business, health care, and many other areas.


For example, 80% of our spending comes from 20% of our spending categories, 80% of our profits come from only 20% of our customers. Another example: 80% of our happiness is provided by only 20% of the people around us.


Pareto's law will help you to be more efficient and understand that most of the effort brings a lesser part of the result.


4. Minimizing future regrets.

The author of the "minimizing future regrets" rule is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. It will be indispensable when making the most global and serious decisions in life.


At one point Jeff Bezos was faced with a choice: quit his successful hedge fund job to found Amazon, or leave everything as it was. Apparently, the entrepreneur made a decision that he is unlikely to regret.


The head of Amazon recommends imagining yourself at the age of 80 and trying to figure out what you will be thinking about. This uncomplicated technique gives you a chance to escape from the daily grind and not make mistakes during the decision-making process.


If you can be clear about what you want to achieve in the long run, it helps to avoid future regrets about anything.


5. The Eisenhower Matrix

During his tenure as president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower made many crucial decisions whose effects are still felt today. He initiated the creation of the U.S. highway network, space exploration (NASA) and the study of alternative energy sources that led to the creation of the Atomic Energy Act, the basic U.S. law for the civilian and military use of nuclear materials.


The Eisenhower Matrix

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

Not surprisingly, many of Eisenhower's decision-making methods are still popular today. One of them is the so-called Eisenhower matrix. Its essence is to classify any decision, case or activity into one of four categories:


urgent and important (needs to be done immediately);

important but not urgent (can be scheduled to happen later);

Urgent but not important (can be assigned to someone else);

neither urgent nor important


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