Single Decisive Reason: A simple and fast decision-making method.

You make that decision. Whether it is small or big, trivial or critical, even whether you like to or not, you have to make it.

Your decision makes you. ‘You’ are the consequence of the entire decision you’ve made your whole life.

What makes the decision-making process efficient?


Usually, there will be lots and lots of parameters to consider before deciding. Every parameter has a different weightage and impacts the outcome in a range of possibilities.

Evaluating all the options and deciding may take a lot of time and effort.

Lots of options = confusion. Confusion = stagnancy and delay.

Sometimes the loss due to not deciding is quite greater than the loss due to making a slightly less good solution.

To make it quick, you need to prune your options and parameters.

Most of the time one option gives an edge over the other. That minute difference is not a big deal when time passes. All that matters is that you progressed from solving the current one to the next.

SDR method.

SDR stands for – Single Decisive Reason.

A single reason is more than enough to make a decision.

If you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don’t do it.

It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something.

Obvious decsions require not more than a single reason.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

You don’t have to find that one reason. Because it is obvious and it is right in front of you.

That single reason rises from your values. (More on this later).

If there’s one decisive reason, just decide based on it. Adding up more reasons is actually useless and an overkill.

There needs to be one decisive reason.

If I go for a blended reason, I’ll almost surely comeback and feel like it was a waste of time.

Reid Hoffman

There are some inevitables in decision-making. Don’t try to perfect your decision. Read The inevitables of decision making. (and how to avoid some bad ones).


Keep it simple. Both the process and outcome of the decision.

The process is simple. Indentify the SDR. Decide. Stick to it.

Ignoring the complexity isn’t an option. Strive to reduce the complexity. Don’t consider exceptional/edge cases when you devise your conclusions.

Make the decision simple. Easy to understand, so that everyone can follow it as you planned/expected.

Too many details lead to confusion and misunderstanding. Too less details can be ambiguous and could be misinterrupted.

The solution is to keep it simple. The magic number here is 3.

Conclude your decision in 3 simple points. 3 unique factors you’d consider or goals you’d expect. 3 steps you expect others to follow.

Contract the takeaway of your decision with 3 unique points. Write it.

I encourage everyone to maintain a decision journal. (more about this later).

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