Making decisions can be challenging. If you struggle with analysis paralysis, you can use this decision matrix to make the right decision faster, every single time.
Have you ever been at a point in your life where you’ve had to make a decision but had no friggin’ clue which option to choose?
Whether you’re debating which job offer to take, which career to choose, which house to buy, or where to go for date night, it is so easy to get caught in analysis paralysis and avoid making any decision until the very last minute, at which point you commit to spending the rest of eternity wondering if you made the right choice… at least that’s how it used to be for me.
Sometimes, there is no “right” choice in a given situation. All options seem equally good, with different upsides and downsides, making it no easier for you to make your decision.
I’ve wasted so much energy over-analyzing, going back and forth, and tearing my hair out about things I could have decided right off the bat.
But I don’t do that anymore!
Through my career in continuous improvement, I’ve picked up a number of tools that are used to help people and organizations thrive, and turned them into tools I use in my personal life to help me elevate my performance to a new level.
As a life coach, I challenge high achievers to overcome perfectionism, procrastination, and indecision so that they can go from average to unbelievable and build a life exploding with joy.
What sets me apart are the practical & proven strategies I’ve gained over 5 years in continuous improvement to help you create momentum like never before.
One of these is the decision matrix, and I can’t wait to explain this simple yet effective tool for making the right decision. If you’re looking for an effective decision making process to help you improve your decision making skills, look no further!
I’m so excited for you to never have to agonize over a decision again!
A decision matrix basically ranks all of your different options based on how likely they are to bring you the things that you value.
When you’re debating between job A that pays more but is farther away, and job B that pays less but is closer, it’s a relatively easy decision to make. All you have to do is figure out whether you care more about making money or spending less time in the car.
But what about when there are four different options, and six different things that you care about!?
Then it’s not so easy.
The decision matrix is amazing because it allows for all of these convoluted factors, and it uses basic logic to make your best choice crystal clear for you.
Also, because the scales are not linear, you know right off the bat what will work best for you. You’re not debating between something that scored 4 points and something that scored 5; we’re talking something that scored 76 and something that scored 254.
I love this approach because it takes the emotion out of the decision.
If you’ve been agonizing over the decision for days, you don’t even remember all the pros and cons anymore, you just feel stuck and unsure of yourself.
The decision matrix applies logic to determine the option that’s going to make you the happiest.
Here’s what I mean when I say decision matrix
So, how do you make effective decisions?
Here are the steps for using this amazing tool.
Step 1. Write the different options you’re considering across the top
These could be different houses you’re debating buying, different dogs you’re debating adopting, or, the example I’ll use, different jobs you’re debating between.
Step 2. List the things that are important to you down the left side.
This is the part where you get real honest with yourself and write out the top 6 things that you actually care about in this decision.
If you’re buying a house, you might put
- Individual bedrooms for each family member
- A big open space where we can spend time together
- A neighborhood with a great school
If you’re getting a pup, you might put
- Good with kids
- Low energy
- Fits in a small purse? Can reach the top of the fridge?
In the example I’m going to use (taking a new job), I would value
- Learning & growth
- Time with the kids
- Making an impact
- Unlimited income potential
- Flexible working hours
Step 3. Rank values in order of importance (6 through 1)
Now that you know WHAT you care about, it’s time to figure out which thing matters most and which thing matters least.
Rank each value highest to lowest with the highest number representing the most valuable thing! (So counting down from 6 to 1).
Step 4. Score the likelihood that each option will bring you closer to your values
You can only use the following numbers:
- 1 (not very likely)
- 3 (maybe)
- 9 (very likely)
This is what makes the matrix work so well. It weighs things that are more likely to occur heavier than those that aren’t.
Step 5. Multiply the rank of the value (6-1) with the likelihood (1,3,9) in the cell
So if learning & growth is my highest priority value (scoring a 6) and becoming a life coach is very likely to provide learning & growth (scoring a 9) I would multiply 9×6=54 and write 54 in that cell.
Do this for each value x each option, so that all of your cells are filled out.
Step 6. Sum up the score at the bottom
The option that scores highest is the right one for you.
Bam! Decision made.
How easy was that!?
Here’s an example of what it looked like when I was debating which job to take earlier last year.
If you want to read more about my journey from crying in the bathroom every day at a corporate gig I hated, to living my dream life working remotely for a company I love and running a life coaching practice that sets my heart on fire, I’ve got all the deets for you here.
As you can see in the example above, life coaching is CLEARLY the winner for me, by a long shot.
My next best option is the remote work position, which by the way, I took, and really enjoy. But it doesn’t make me jump out of bed in the morning, like empowering women to chase their dreams does.
This decision matrix also tells me I’d rather be a stay at home mom, than go back to working in a cubicle where the soul is slowly sucked out of me each and every day.
By the way, now that you’ve figured out how to make good decisions, why don’t you build better time management habits so that you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of? If you’re interested in leveling up your time management skill set, we offer a time management course that will give you 7 hours back in your life every single week!
With this systematic approach to solving a complex problem (like which career path you should take), you can remain confident that you’re making the right choice FOR YOU.
Try it out, and let me know whether it simplifies your decision making process in the comments below!
If you want the super-cutesy printable template that you can use, join our email community and you will have access to it, plus many other tools that make achieving your goals and living your dream easy peasy (like a free goal setting checklist!)
And if you want help using the tool, or a coach to walk you through hard decisions in your life and help you build momentum to achieve those great big dreams you have, work with me!
I challenge high achievers to overcome perfectionism, procrastination, and indecision so that they can go from average to unbelievable and build a life exploding with joy
- 7 Ways To Excel In Your Job & Get A Raise
- Tips on Working From Home & Building Your Dream Life
- The Ultimate Guide To Setting Goals & Achieving Personal Growth
What do you struggle with most when making decisions? Let me know in the comments below!