Pedro Arantes

The Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment

It helps you decide which action you take in the present moment.
Zettelkasten, April 22nd, 2021.


  • It helps you decide which action you take in the present moment.

  • How to choose between studying about mental models, planning an application, or sending a WhatsApp message to your crush?

  • It was taken from the book Getting Things Done, by David Allen.

  • The Four Criteria are:

    • Context: you're constrained by your environment. Which actions can be done at the place you are? You cannot code with you don't have a computer or anything to write code.

    • Time Available: how much time do you have until your next action. If you have a meeting in 10 minutes, you can't start an action that requires more time.

    • Energy Available: how much energy do you have? Some actions require physical and/or mental energy. You can't clean the house if you're very tired. You can't study mental models if you're sleepy.

    • Priority Given: given the context, time, and energy available, what remaining actions will give you the highest payoff? Here you need to rely on your intuition and judgment call in the moment.


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