Episode 184: Habits, Part 1: Why Is Energy the Key to Creating More Productive Habits?

Episode 184: Habits, Part 1: Why Is Energy the Key to Creating More Productive Habits? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“We think that powering through the grind builds our capacity more over time when really it has the opposite effect: it leads to burnout.” –Gretchen Slenk

Did you decide to create some new habits as part of a resolution for 2022? Now that it’s mid-February, are you still sticking strong to your intention? If you have found yourself in the “Never mind this, I give up” camp, don’t be too hard on yourself. The science behind creating new habits can be a little tricky. These aspirational new habits are set with hopes to have it impact the trajectory toward a goal. But often we misstep and choose a new habit based on time or stress management, when in reality we need to be looking at energy management to choose our habits.

A four quadrant grid describing the four wellsprings of energy, including body (fueled by adequate nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest), mind (fueled by focus, undivided attention and presence), emotion (fueled by positive feelings and emotional self-awareness) and spirit (fueled by meaning and purpose).

The habits we have are either supportive of optimal energy or deplete the well. Energy stems from several wellsprings, with four being shown on this grid. How do your current habits support or deplete each well?

Faye Davis is joined today by Gretchen Slenk to dive into all things energy, including energy rhythms, wellsprings, and crises. Gretchen is a director at Southwest Michigan First, where she specializes in areas of strengths-based leadership development programming, human behavior, habits, emotional intelligence, and professional resilience. Gretchen shares examples of why energy should be top of mind, how to feed the wellsprings (see the quadrant image to the left), and what leaders can do to navigate the natural inconsistencies in energy flow (aka ultradian rhythms).

As leaders, we often think that continually adding stress will strengthen the physical stress response system, creating an ability to handle even more stress. But this avenue of operating will actually wear down the capacity to handle stress, leading to people being triggered more easily and frequently. The idea of focusing on energy is to build habits to optimize energy. Listen in to Gretchen and Faye’s conversation now to hear more. You can listen on our website, via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai