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Exploratory balancing matrix for decision making

A Great decision-making tool for making big life decisions

The exploratory balancing matrix for decision-making is a tool based on checking the effect of your decision on the Balancing Matrix (BM). This tool comes hand in making big life decisions.

The Balancing Matrix (BM)

Seven decision domains form the Balancing Matrix (BM).

  1. You (body, mind, and soul)
  2. Personal statement (vision, mission, core values, objectives, and goals)
  3. Circle of communication
  4. Time
  5. Resources
  6. Activities
  7. Location

All you need is paper and a pen.

  1. Get your personal statement (vision, mission, core values, objectives, and goals) – Don’t have a personal statement? Learn how to write one here.
  2. Exclude any decision option that goes against your core values, is out of the scope of your vision and mission, or does not help you achieve your goals.
  3. Explore the effect of your decision on the core decision domains. You should not make any significant life decision without exploring the impact of your decision on these domains:

You can end here and make a decision right now if you want.

matrix for decision-making pencils and a notepad
Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Optional exploratory matrix for decision-making

Depending on the case, you might want to explore the effect of your decision on the optional decision domains. Again, these are added according to need.

So, if your decision involves time, resources, activity, or location, explore the effect of these domains on your decision.

  • Time
  • Resources
  • Activity
  • Location

Make a decision

Want to learn more?

Check out The Decisions Academy

Notes on the effect of your decisions on your body, mind, and soul

Say you read an article on the Mayo Clinic website about how much the average adult should exercise each day. So you decide to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination spread out during a week. Your body will start to experience cardiovascular health benefits as described in the article. This is a decision that your body will thank you for (favorable to the body).

Then you decide to smoke, and the health meter goes the opposite way, as your risk of getting coronary heart disease increases by 2 to 4 times compared to non-smokers. This is a decision that your body will definitely not like (harmful to the body).

Then there’s the mind. Imagine you just watched a film and wrote a review: That was a mind-blowing experience. It stimulated you to the extent that you described it as though it blew your mind (favorable to the mind). Or you read a book or discussed it with your friend, saying, “This really messed with my mind.” Likewise, people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) complain of having repetitive thoughts in their minds that they can’t get over (harmful to the mind).

You might wonder how decisions affect the soul? Think of it this way, yoga aficionados travel to India to learn more about yoga. When they come back, they say, “I was on a soul-searching trip.” Muslims pray for “soul purification,” and the artist describes their paintings as “soul-touching” (positive to the soul).  On the other hand, some people might say, “my job is soul-destroying” (meaning incredibly boring – negative to the soul).

You might disagree with the body, mind, and soul combination.

The key is to explore the effect of the decision on yourself.

Conclusion

An explanatory balancing matrix for decision-making is a tool for making balanced decisions to fulfill a balanced life.

A. I. Shoukry is the founder of The Decisions Academy and a bestselling author.

Let’s connect on Twitter

@ashoukry

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