Do you find yourself mulling over every single decision? I'm often guilty of taking way too long deliberating before coming to an answer – sometimes even for very simple decisions. How do CEOs make decisions?

There are lots of tricks in a CEO's toolkit for making decisions effectively and efficiently. I want to share a couple with you that I found useful!

1. Jeff Bezos's decision types

According to our friend Jeff, there are two types of decisions:

  • Type 1 decisions: Irreversible* (one-way doors)
  • Type 2 decisions: Reversible (two-way doors)

(*) Irreversible means that the barrier to reverse it is too high, even if the decision might technically be reversible.

If you're making an "irreversible" type 1 decision, like deciding which university to go to and committing for a full first year, you should really spend the time to consider it since it will have a lasting impact and it's hard to back out from.

If it's a "reversible" type 2 decision, like buying a shirt you can return, then there's no point wasting too much time over it. Do it quickly (and maybe even buy lots of shirts to return a few later) – you can always go back if you need to.

This method is targeted at organisations (particularly as they get large) so that they don't spend too long to make type 2 decisions, but there's no reason we can't apply it to our own lives!

2. How long to consider a decision

Another interesting rule (thought I can't remember the source for this one) is to spend more time considering decisions that will have a lasting impact.

  • If a decision will affect a week of your life, wait 24 hours before you make your mind.
  • If it will affect a year of your life, wait a month before you make your mind.

And so on...

The time you actually wait depends on your risk appetite, but the principle is to scale up your thinking time with the size of impact.

Do you have any tips and tricks for quick decision-making? Let me know by emailing me / replying to this email!