Tools for Decision-Making and Prioritization

Tools for Decision-Making and Prioritization

No matter how organized you are, there are always ways to trim a few minutes from your day by easing the decision-making process and keeping track of what you have already decided is a priority.

Here are three tools you might find useful:

A Colour-Coded Calendar. I recommend blocking your Free Time first (a concept learned from The Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan). These are days and blocks of time where you don’t take any work with you. Vacations, date nights, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, family get-togethers, bucket list adventures and personal “me” time are all free time activities that should be at the top of your priority list. I use a nice sunshiny colour for this – orange or gold.

Next come the money-making activities. I use light green for networking activities, freebie speaking engagements and meetings with prospects, and dark green for client coaching calls, facilitating client strategy meetings, paid speaking engagements, consulting, developing business plans and any other type of activity that others pay me for.

Then Buffer time is any time you set aside to prepare for free time or money-making time (again, thanks to Strategic Coach). For this, I use yellow.

This colour coding allows me to group together like activities so I can get on a roll and make my time more productive.

There are other types of activities I choose to colour code too such as social activities, volunteer time and fitness and health time. You can decide how to categorize whatever activities you wish.

The T List Decision Making Model for deciding Yes/No to a specific option. This is a simple list of Pros and Cons to any proposal. It works best if you haven’t already decided to weight your decision either for or against. Brainstorming on both sides of T alerts you to things you might not have considered before writing them down and can help you see how any proposal can be modified to fit if it’s a close call whether Yea or Nay.

The Decision-Making Matrix. For this, I am grateful to Justin Livingston. This is a simple grid listing all your options both across and down. For example, you may be planning your marketing strategy and need to decide what comes first, second, third, etc. in your plan. The list might include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn along with revising your web site, or printing new brochures. Each takes time and/or money to implement. Compare each one to each other one and give one point to the one with the highest precedence in each comparison. With five options to choose from, you have a possible total of 4 points for the winner, three for the second, etc.

There you have it. These are some of my favourite tools. Please do share with me some of yours!! Write me at

And happy planning!

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