You make hundreds of decisions a week. Leader or not. The more you lead the greater the consequences of those decisions. Not every decision is a deal breaker. Most are rather small; but even a small decision can shut down your work flow if not handled correctly and efficiently. Use this quick filter for decisions. It frees you up to spend time doing what matters most.
Every decision has only five possible responses; do it now, delegate it, defer it, file for later, delete it.
- I am a huge fan of the 2-minute rule. If you can do something in two minutes then just do it now. It keeps work flow moving and gets things off your mental desk.
- Can someone else do it correctly? Delegate it. But delegate it correctly. Give them the information they need to succeed and then take your hand off the stick. Delegating is designed to free you up to make the decisions only you can make.
- Would it be better to make a decision later? Should you have more people around the table? Defer it. Put it in a place with a date on it. I make certain decisions after sleeping on it, literally. But, once deferred it will need addressed. So defer and date it or you will keep putting it off.
- Is it less like a decision and more like information? File it for later reference. Sometimes your people give you FYIs. Have a system for easy retrieval, stick it where it goes, and move on to the next decision.
- Finally, does it just need discarded? Some decisions don’t need made, the only need deleted. “File 13” it and move on to something that matters.
Pick a decision you are dealing with, big or small. Run it through those 5 filters. Now move on.
When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?…What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. – Jethro Exodus 18:14-18