This approach definitely decreased cognitive load. You might know about the famous jam study created by Sheena Iyengar. In this study, participants were shown anywhere from 24 to 6 jams and were asked to make a decision. Overwhelmingly, participants experienced less anxiety with decreased decision making points.
The study's hypothesis stated that the “the presence of choice might be appealing as a theory, but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating.”
Based on this research, I would definitely constrain the number of options shown. An improvement that could be made is the cognitive association between the icons and the text. Users dislike reading. As such, iconography is crucial for decisions like these. Creating more conceptually-driven iconography may also help in decreasing anxiety and time for users to make an informed choice. With better iconography, and by doing some research based on what links are the most clicked, I believe you are able to create a very usable and cognitively-driven CP Admin panel :)
References: 1, 2