Are you prioritizing big rocks or little rocks?

Don't let the small stuff distract you from more important things.

As goes January, so they say in the financial services profession, so goes the year. It’s a maxim Michael G. Herman, ChFC, LUTCF, believes in on an even more immediate level: As goes the morning, so goes the day.

“Whether you do heavy meditation or just think about what you want to accomplish, you can take control of the day and not let the day control you,” said the MDRT member from Lakewood, Colorado.

Herman has learned how important it is to be present, focusing on the “big rocks” each day and not letting worries about yesterday or tomorrow increase stress or anxiety. He credits both his wife and MDRT with helping him adjust his work-life balance rather than “chasing squirrels all over the place” like he did 10 years ago.

“Looking back, I go, ‘How did I even survive?’” he recalled, thinking back to working nights and weekends and not focusing on quality time with the people most important to him. Now, Herman said, “When I go home, I go home,” and he is twice as productive now that he works fewer hours.

“I don’t think people plan to fail; I think life just gets in the way, and time flies by so fast,” he said. His solutions aren’t complicated, but they can be difficult to execute: Avoid procrastination. Detach from work when not in the office. And, cliché or not, treat every day like it’s your last.

“I’m more empowered and less stressed, which results in better communication with my family and stronger relationships,” he said. “Once you focus on what’s important, you cherish every day.

“Take care of the big rocks today; the little ones will always be here for you tomorrow.”