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The Decision Maker Spreadsheet

If you've read Seymour Schulich's recent book, Get Smarter, you will have surely read the section in which Schulich, a self-made billionaire and philanthropist, outlines how he deals with making difficult choices in life. He calls this approach the "Decision-maker."

Schulich's Decision-maker is essentially a weighted list of the pros and cons of a specific decision. However, don't let its bare bones nature deceive you -- its very simplicity goes to show how the most complex decisions we face don't need to be over-analyzed.

The approach involves giving each listed pro and con a score from zero to ten, depending on how important the pro or con is to you. For the pros, the higher the score given, the more important the factor in the decision; however, for the cons the reverse is true. Here, the higher the score, the bigger the drawback of this particular con factor. If the total of the pros is at least double the total of the cons, then you should proceed with the decision in question; if not, the decision is likely a bad one.

Schulich himself states that the decision maker is "designed not to allow one or two factors to sway a major life decision" disproportionately. Additionally, Schulich has stated that he's used this decision-making method for over fifty years and it has served him very well thus far.

I've put together a spreadsheet which you can use to try out this decision-making method. Does this look like something that you too can benefit from?

Download the Decision-Maker spreadsheet.

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