Notes on Decision Making Techniques

Regret Minimization by Tim Ferriss

Because we can never actually predict the future- Regret Minimization is the best way to choose when faced with a difficult decision.

  • Step 1: Articulate the parameters of your decision. What do you actually need to decide?
  • Step 2: Write down your first option.
  • Step 3: Write down your second option.
  • Step 4: Rank how much you will regret having chosen option 1 if it ultimately ends up a failure.
  • Step 5: Rank how much you will regret having chosen option 2 if it ultimately ends up a failure.
  • Step 6: Choose the option with the least regret.
  • Because at the end of our lives, the worst is always to have regret. We therefore should always seek to minimize regret.

Making Good Decisions by Brandon Chu

I propose that being a good decision maker means doing two things: Making them using the right amount of information and as quickly as possible

Making decisions using the right amount of information

Deciding how important a decision is, is the most important decision you can make.

  • Type 1 decisions are not reversible, and you have to be very careful making them.
  • Type 2 decisions are like walking through a door — if you don’t like the decision, you can always go back.

Making decisions as quickly as possible

The less important a decision, the less information you should try to seek to make it.

  • your confidence level on predicting a decision’s outcome is a function of how much information you have about the decision
  • the more important a decision, the higher confidence you require and thus the more information you need
  • your goal shouldn’t be to always make the right decision, it should be to invest the right amount of time in making a decision relative to its importance.
  • The downside is that you will end up making more wrong decisions, but when you do, they’re likely not important. The upside is that you will end up making more decisions, which means you’re creating more output.
  • What’s the difference in effort required for gathering 35% of information versus 70%? It’s not 2x — most of the time you will already have a significant amount of the relevant information close by.
  • The Pareto principle applies here in that you can usually get ~80% of the information you need with little investment, whereas getting 100% will take a lot of effort.

Jungian psychoanalyst James Hollis recommendation

Ask yourself of every dilemma, every choice, every relationship, every commitment, or every failure to commit: Does this choice diminish me, or enlarge me?

Tony Robbins’ Strategy

Decision making:

  • Needs to be done in writing, there’s too much in your head
  • It’s value clarification
  • What makes it hard is that there are several outcomes you want to get and it’s sometimes hard to get all of them and you don’t know the priority

6 step process:

1) Outcomes: Get clear on them

  • What outcomes are affected if I take this option?
  • How important (on a scale of 0–10) is each upside/downside in terms of meeting your outcomes?
  • What is the probability (0–100%) that the upside/downside will occur?
  • What is the emotional benefit or consequence if this option were to actually happen?

Farsighted Book Technique

Mapping: Generate Other Options

  • Things get weird
  • Things go well
  • Things go terrible
  • Tell the story of how this decision went horribly wrong. It makes people more creative on looking at potential flaws they might not have perceived before.
  • More likely to have it end right if you go through how it could go wrong.
  • Create a list of values that are important to you
  • For each, give it a weight (numerical 0–1)

When overthinking (take action)

Expected Value



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