Two rules for efficient decisions

A Google product manager once told me that he has two rules for the endless stream of decisions that must be made a project moves forward:

  1. Never let a decision go undecided for more than 24 hours

  2. Never take more than 60 minutes of focused time to make a decision

These ensure that both the hard and the easy decisions get made, not just the easy ones.

An example of someone who embodied these rules, Robert Moses, who built almost every bridge, highway and park in NYC, famously worked from a table rather than a desk. This was so letters couldn't be forgotten in drawers. Instead, he would start the day by making decisions for each letter.