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4 Easy Ways to Develop a Bias for Action Right Now



bias for action

Let me guess, you’ve been putting something off recently. You’ve been dreaming of starting a business, writing a book, or talking to that attractive person in your office, but something deep inside you has stopped you from taking action.

The human mind is fantastic at coming up with reasons for not taking action. The human brain is designed to keep us safe and to conserve energy. For that reason, we are programmed to look for risks and reduce the amount of work we need to do to in order to survive. When we weigh any potential action, we look for reasons that specific action or activity will fail. At the same time, we look for ways that we can conserve energy and get the same benefit from less effort.

What this means is that those who are able to act in an incisive way and focus their energy, have a tremendous advantage compared to their peers. Research shows that those who are able to develop the habit for action are many times more likely to be successful in business and in their relationships than people who describe themselves as procrastinators or are unable to take regular action.

This habit is called the “bias for action”, and it refers to the tendency to make decisions quickly and take action on them regularly rather than getting side tracked by worry or doubt. But how do you develop such a valuable habit? Through practice, plain and simple.

Here are four ways to develop a bias for action which will jump start your life:

1. Reduce distractions

One of the biggest reasons that people cite for not taking action is because they are overwhelmed by the number of things going on in their lives that they have to decide on. The more you are able to reduce the number of distractions you have in your life, the more you will be able to focus on what matters to you.

Consider turning off all of your mobile phone notifications except for those you absolutely cannot live without. Get better at saying no to people who invite you to events and activities. Learn to live within your means and conserve energy for what actually matters most to you.

“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” – Adam Hochschild

2. Count down from five

If you get stuck and start overthinking anything, you are less likely to make a move and act. One of the best books I’ve ever read on taking action is called The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. In the book, she describes a moment in her life where everything seemed to be falling apart.

She was 41, she was drinking too much, her work / life balance was nonexistent, and her marriage was falling apart. Things were not going well, and she knew something had to change. Sitting up late one night, she was watching TV and happened to see a clip of a rocket preparing for blastoff, with the requisite “Five… four… three… two… one… blast off” sounding off in the background. With that, she decided to implement the practice of counting down from five every time she knew she needed to take action on something but couldn’t.

3. Make smaller decisions

Most self-help books talk about developing a grand master plan and some overarching vision which will guide you and drive you forward. Sure, having a unifying mission and vision can be a great way of helping you define your far-off goals, but it can also be overwhelming when you’re just trying to live your everyday life.

If you have a high level goal or vision, that’s great, but don’t forget the importance of taking action every day on smaller things. Make it a goal to do something that is beneficial to your mind (read a book, talk to a mentor), your body (go for a run or a 30 minute walk), and your soul (meditate, go to a museum, or see an old friend) each and every day. The long term goals are important, but they won’t matter unless you manage to make the right smaller decisions on a daily basis.

“No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one.” – Jessica Savitch

4. Create a decision engine

Once you start making decisions on a regular basis, the process will become addictive. Habits are made out of loops. There is a trigger which causes an action (habit). Upon completing that action (habit), you receive a reward, which releases dopamine into the brain. This, in turn, makes you seek out opportunities to engage with that initial trigger.

In order to create a strong habit around the “bias for action”, you need to create a system which helps to formalise that habit loop. Look for what trigger might push you to take action. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight and you want to go for a run each morning. Putting your shoes by the foot of your bed might be the motivation you need to get up and run first thing in the morning.

Maybe you need to get better about completing your work assignments on time, so you set aside two hours each Monday morning of uninterrupted time to plan out your week and schedule your most important actions. Whatever systems you put in place, make sure to make them as simple as you can. The more complex your plans are for jump starting your action habit, the less likely it will be to succeed in the long run. You don’t need a grand plan, you just need to start now.

How do you make decisions quickly and efficiently on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments below!

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McVal is the founder of We Write For Growth, a platform for businesses to connect with talented writers and researchers and growth hackers. He is also the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant. 



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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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