Most decisions should be made quickly


One of the lessons of the 80/20 principle is that a few things matter but most don’t. “A minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards,” according to Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle.

Figure out your 20% activities and do more of them. Spend less time doing everything else.

Now, every day we all make lots of decisions. What to do, what to read, what to say, how to make a point, what to buy, and many more. Unfortunately, many of us spend too much time making decisions about things that don’t matter or matter much.

We should train ourselves to make quick decisions about most things.

Where to go to lunch, what car to buy, whether or not to upgrade our computer–these are not “20% decisions likely to lead to 80% of our results”. Where to take a prospect to lunch, for example, shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. It’s just not that important.

On the other hand, opening a new office, starting a new practice area, getting in bed with a partner–decisions that require research, thought, weighing of risks and rewards–are 20% decisions that can indeed lead to 80% of our results.

In the course of a day, you might make dozens of relatively unimportant decisions. Make them quickly and move on. You might make an important decision once a week. Take your time and do it right.

Plan less, do more