analytical Q

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How do people make everyday decisions?

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When faced with immediate prioritization pressures, I put all choices into one of four cells in the 2x2 matrix of Low & High Urgency and Low & High Importance/Impact. Simply, the high urgency (HU) and high importance (HI) first, and the low urgency (LU) and low importance (LI) last, obviously. Now, what about HU/LI versus HI/LU - which one first ? Technically, it's HU/LI owing to urgency - get the dirty stuff out of the way to spend quality time on the stuff that matters most. But not always. That's when the 3rd dimension to the matrix comes into play - the Resources (time, money, effort) consideration, just to complicate the decision process a little. LR (the simple stuff) before HR (tough cookies) usually, all else being equal.

Can you apply this to social behaviour, I wonder ?

How did you tackle a delightful potpurri meal as a kid? Did you eat the spaghetti before the meat balls ? Polished off the boring chow first and save the best for last ? ...only to find your siblings swiping off the best bits when your head was turned! Or, was it strictly business, you savoured the creme de la creme up front and worry about the leftovers later ?

Can you apply the same principles to courtship and mating too? I wonder...

Seek out the perfect match early in life, only to have it end in divorce after some wonderful loving years, and then followed by a series of meaningless flings and stings ? Or go for carefree (and Aids-free) flings and swings before deciding to settle down for the long haul late in life ? Decisions, decisions!

There's no denying, the cybergods can be cruel, or they can be merciful sometimes. There are those who resort to e-dating and e-mating, they may get lucky at times, end up with "you've got mate". The old fashioned ones like yours truly will cherish "eyeball-to-eyeball" approach anytime, good old "E2E", I always say.

Wait too long to mate, and "you've got zilch"!

The Hungry Poet, 2 November 2001

I have a bad habit of doing stuff I like to do first or deliberately distracting myself so that there's very little time left to do the stuff I don't like - and therefore don't spend much time doing it (because there's no time left).

Take these past two weeks, I had a deadline of 31 Oct - and I had all sorts of info in my head and in my handwritten interview notes - collected over a period of several months .... as well as articles I read. All I had to do was put them together. Simple. Just transcribe the notes. Copy/paste the different bits from different files. But - what did I do? I cycled to my favourite secondhand book store - to spend two hours in the basement hunting for music, then I swam. Each day I waited until it was too late to start (or rather it took me THAT long to get settled in the day), and then I went to the library to hunt for more music scores, copied some. Then went to a music store. All in search of music, for my pianist friend was visiting. And I was going to play with a flautist over the weekend.....

If I used your matrix, I should have finished my article - as it was high urgency and high importance. But instead, that was the last thing I did!!

analyticalQ response, 2 November 2001