THE decision-making framework

Shane Parrish is a writer and podcaster (catch him on the Tim Ferriss podcast). He has spent the better part of the last 15 years studying high-achieving people and has tried to capture it all in his most recent book called Clear Thinking. One of the most salient and simple approaches he articulates in the book is about decision making. Some of us have a hard time making them. Period. We like to analyze options until we’ve backed ourselves into a corner and all of them have expired.

Here’s his simple framework. There are 2 principles that resonated with me: The ASAP Principle and the ALAP Principle.

The ASAP Principle: If the cost to undo the decision is low, make it as soon as possible.
The ALAP Principle: If the cost to undo a decision is high, make it as late as possible.

This is a very simple approach to the hundreds of decisions we make every day — most of those are done on auto-pilot. Making decisions can be paralyzing but Shane’s approach takes the burden and cognitive weight off the “easy” decisions while freeing up time to think about the tougher, more impactful ones.