20+ Decision-Making Frameworks Worth Knowing
I wanted to layout every decision-making framework I know of. I don't use all of these frameworks personally, I think it's wise to pick and choose which suits you though.
The Feynman Technique
To learn anything:
Step 1: Identify a topic Step 2: Try to explain it to a 5-year-old Step 3: Study to fill in knowledge gaps Step 4: Organise, convey, and review
True genius is the ability to simplify, not complicate.
Simple is beautiful.
The Regret Minimisation Framework
The goal is to minimise the number of regrets in life.
When faced with a difficult decision:
(1) Project into the future. (2) Look back on the decision. (3) Ask "Will I regret not doing this?" (4) Act accordingly.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix
Learn the difference between urgent and important.
Place tasks on a 2x2 matrix:
- Important & Urgent
- Important & Not Urgent
- Not Important & Urgent
- Not Important & Not Urgent
Prioritise, delegate, or delete accordingly.
The 5 Types of Wealth
Money is NOT the only type of wealth.
There are 5 types:
- Financial (money)
- Social (relationships)
- Physical (health)
- Mental (health, knowledge, faith)
- Time (freedom)
The pursuit of financial wealth can rob you of the others.
Don't let it.
Green Lines vs. Black Lines
- Black Lines = Paths Closed
- Green Lines = Paths Open
Stop focusing on the black lines behind you. Start focusing on all of the green lines before you.
It is a future with immense opportunity.
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
When you establish fixed hours, you find unproductive ways to fill it.
Work more, get less done.
If your goal is to do inspired, creative work, work like a lion instead:
Sprint. Eat. Rest. Repeat.
Local vs. Tourist
When faced with chaos, ask yourself whether you're a local or a tourist.
Tourists flee bad weather. Locals are aware the seasons change.
Play games where you're a local.
Never be a "Stubborn Local”—ignoring evidence that something has fundamentally changed.
Compounding is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
But it can work for or against you.
Extraordinary achievements are often just the result of a large volume of tiny actions.
Small things become big things.
Imagine a rock is thrown into a lake.
The splash is the first-order effect—the ripples are the second-order effects.
The world is filled with first-order thinkers.
Dig deeper—ask "and then what?”
Second-order thinkers will always be in short supply.
The Paradox of Effort
You have to put in more effort to make something appear effortless.
Effortless, elegant performances are simply the result of a large volume of consistent, effortful practice.
Small things become big things.
Simple is not simple.
BS Asymmetry Principle
The energy required to refute bullshit is much larger than the energy required to produce it.
This is why BS spreads so easily—especially on social media.
It's also why we need to make a deliberate effort to fight back against it.
Intellectual Sparring Partners
Most of us need fewer friends and more intellectual sparring partners.
Friends are easy to come by.
Intellectual sparring partners are harder to find.
They will call you on your BS, question your assumptions, and push you to think deeply.
The Big 3 Razors
Occam's Razor: The simplest explanation is often the best one.
Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Hitchens' Razor: Anything asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Luck Surface Area
Much of what we call "luck" is the macro result of 1,000s of micro actions.
Your habits put you in a position where luck is more likely to strike.
If you want to create more luck, increase your luck surface area.
Open up the aperture to let more luck in.
When faced with two options, choose the one that’s more difficult in the short-term.
Naval Ravikant calls this making "uphill decisions”.
It requires a forced override of your pain avoidance instinct.
It's worth it—short-term pain creates compounding long-term gain.
The Cobra Effect
The British offered bounties for cobra heads—so locals bred cobras to turn in their heads.
A policy designed to reduce the cobra population had the opposite effect.
Lesson: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
The 1-in-60 Rule
Tiny deviations are amplified by distance and time.
A 1 degree error in heading will cause a plane to miss its target by 1 mile for every 60 miles flown.
Lesson: Small miss now = large miss later.
Always make real-time course corrections and adjustments.
The Weekend Test
"What the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years." - C. Dixon
Observe the weekend projects of the smartest people in your circles.
Odds are those will become a key part of our future.
Play to Learn
Old Way: Learn to Play. New Way: Play to Learn.
We are living in an unprecedented era—historical boundaries are being broken, enabling anyone to participate.
If you're trying to learn anything new, insert yourself into the game.
It's the only way.
Skin in the Game
Skin in the Game means that the key principals participate in both the upside and downside associated with any decisions.
Always look for its presence in any new situation.
Avoid games where those making the rules don't have any skin in the game.
Jerry Seinfeld hangs a calendar on the wall and uses a red marker to put an X over every day that he completes his daily writing.
It's not about quality, it's about consistency.
If you want to improve at anything:
- 30 days
- 30 min per day
Build the habit.
Asking great questions uncovers the truth—bias for action builds upon it.
The four quadrants:
Q1: World-changers (rare!) Q2: Grinders/hustlers Q3: Philosophers/thinkers Q4: Dead zone
Invest behind Q1s, hire more Q2s, spend time with Q3s, and avoid Q4s.
Zone of Genius
Your Zone of Genius is where your interests, passions and skills align.
Operating in your Zone of Genius means playing games you are uniquely well-suited to win.
Once you identify it, you can stop playing their games and start playing yours.
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