Taking the Best of Our Homes to Work

Feb 08, 2022

Has it ever happened to you that you are hit by a brilliant idea to solve something at work in the middle of playing with one of your kids? This usually happens because, at that time, your mind is so loose and relaxed that it inevitably reaches very high levels of clarity. 

We can get very familiar with this outcome by prioritizing spending time with our loved ones when putting on the big rocks.

In this episode, we revisit Stephen Covey's concept of fitting the big rocks first in our lives and analyze how prioritizing quality time with our families impacts our professional lives. We talk about the boundaries we create by setting our priorities and the clarity we gain when spending time with our families doing what we love. We also explore how that clarity and peace of mind starts permeating our leadership, the interactions at work, and how we connect with our employees as leaders.  

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Setting boundaries at the same time, we prioritize what's important to us (3:21)
  • Putting our family first means also putting ourselves first (5:47)
  • Spending more quality time with our families makes us better at work (7:40)
  • The effects of putting the big rocks first in our one-on-one meetings (12:31)
  • Removing what doesn't serve us is as important as putting in what does (14:26)


  • Quote: Stephen Covey - "If the big rocks don't go in first, they aren't going to fit in later."
  • Coaching with Clint Consultation Call - Book Here
  • Download my free One-on-One Transformation tool

Let's Connect!


Clint Hoopes: Have you ever felt like you get to the end of the year, and you look back and you think, “Man, we did a lot of great things, but could we have done a little bit more with our family, and been a little bit more intentional?” Today, this is what we're going to talk about – about figuring out how to put the big rocks in first for your family. Typically, when we refer to Stephen Covey, Stephen Covey is famous for talking about “the big rocks” concept. We've talked about it before on the podcast. So, working on putting in the big rocks first – the things that are most important, put those into your schedule, and schedule everything else around it. Make sure you get the biggest things done first, make sure they fit, and then everything else will fit into place somehow, and the things that don't, probably weren't that important. So, putting the big rocks in of your family first, how do you do this? You can do this on a weekly basis, a daily basis, but really what I'm thinking about is for the year. We just ended a year, and we're off to a great start here already in 2022. And here we are, we have an opportunity now to still impact 2022, there's still plenty of time left. So, if you’ve found that you haven't yet scheduled in the things that are most important to you for your family this year, this is the chance to do it. Throw those big rocks, those big things you want to do in right now for your family. Don't wait for those times, and days, and whatever it is that’s important to you to get gobbled up by other important things in your life. Because they will, they'll get taken. If you wait until the last minute to schedule your family vacation, for instance, the options will diminish and get lower and lower till you don't have a chance to even fit in a vacation for your family, and you find you're trying to figure out where to do it. Or you should have planned it on the front end? It can happen. 

So, a lot of you probably already do that with a big vacation for the year. You probably do plan that. But what about the other important things in your life? What about some things like weekly date nights with your wife? Or how about having the chance to spend a little extra time with your children? And maybe planning that timeout, making sure that doesn't get taken. Maybe you want to start going on a camping trip with your family each year or each month. Maybe you and your wife want to have a little bit more time alone, and so you want to schedule a weekend every once in a while. You get to decide. But putting those things in first, putting them in now will help you set boundaries for your life, boundaries that will allow you to have everything else fill in around what's already been deemed most important for you. I have some big goals for this year for being able to spend more time with my family and have more intentional time with my family and with my children. And they're not even huge shifts, not even super huge things, but they're little things where we make sure and block off those times, and then they happen – it's like magic – before we would talk about doing things. And wouldn't it be great if we had time for something? Wouldn’t it be great if we had time to take the kids and go to do this hike? “Well, we'll have to see when we find some time.” Instead of just saying, “Well, we go every second Saturday and go do something active with the kids; we block off the whole day.” “Great. Where are we going?” Schedule out, let the kids help. Whatever it might be but plan it out, and things will happen. 

Putting the big rocks first doesn't mean that things you're putting in have to be big. They just have to be big in terms of their importance to you, and on their impact they'll have on your life. And what better impact on your life will there be than spending better time with your family? Better time connecting, better time with having the opportunity to disconnect from technology because you're there focused on your family. How much better will you be at your business? How much better will you be for your employees? If you come back from a vacation, from a great evening, from whatever it might be where you're intentional with your family time – how much better are you going to be for your people at work? It's big. It's big. I'm telling you when you decide to put your family first in this way, you're also putting yourself first, you're putting your well-being first. And in the end, your employees and your business will get the best you. When you're not focused on all of the things that aren't happening at home, you don't even realize that your subconscious is worried about the things at home, or the things you're not doing, or things you could be doing with your family to improve your relationship or to improve whatever it is. But when you intentionally take the time to be with them, and then go back to work, you will have a greater level of focus, a greater ability to be able to connect with your people at work as well – the connection continues and it amplifies. Your ability to be able to get your work done effectively. Your ability to be creative and have the ideas that your business needs will get greater. You won't get more distracted at work from your family and all the things that are going on there. In fact, it will enhance your focus at work. It's almost counterintuitive to think that spending more intentional time at home, more intentional focus time improving relationships there will, in fact, make your relationships at work better. You'll actually find that some of the best ideas that you have for your business actually come to you during your family time. You're not even thinking about work, you're just having fun and enjoying your family. And what happens? The magic happens. Your mind begins to release and your best ideas and creativity come out. You're more fun father or mother. You're a more caring parent. And you go back to work, and guess what? The same things happen. You become more focused and intentional leader.  The great ideas that you have when you actually have enough time away to think clearly will start to permeate your leadership. They'll start to permeate the interactions that you have with each of your employees. And then you'll be a true leader that can connect with people and make big things happen bigger than you even realize before – all by putting in those big rocks first with your family. 

Now, if you're not sure exactly what you want to have, be those big rocks for your family. That's where you can go and ask them. We talk about having one-on-one meetings all the time, you hear me talk about this all the time, because they're so important. When you're at work, those one-on-one meetings are where the rubber hits the road. It's the place where vision is clarified, vision is communicated, and expectations are made clear for everyone. The employee is clear and knows what needs to happen. They know where you want to go. And you get to listen to them and hear their concerns, their frustrations. And you get to figure out what is most important to them and help them achieve their goals at the same time. And it becomes mutually beneficial. The same takes place at your home. Your family, your children, your wife, they all have opinions on these things. They do care. And what they care about most? Spending time with you, spending time with you as a family. Being able to spend this time together will enhance your relationship, enhance your love for each other, and allow you to have wonderful memories along the way. 

So, you do your one-on-one meetings at work, you do your one-on-one meetings at home with your kids. Looks a lot different, though, but still, it's one on one. And then it's with a group as a family. Find out what's important to each person. I don't know about you, each of my children are completely different. And each child has different strengths, and each child will speak up differently and in different ways and show what they care about, and show what's important to them. A couple of my kids, they don't want to rock the boat, so they would just go with the flow, with what everybody else, whatever the loudest child wants. And often, unless we take the time to do one on one with these different kids and help them to be heard, often their real desires don't come out; their real desires for what they want, or what they even want to do, what's important to them don't come out when they're in the group. So, taking the time to sit one on one with them can make all the difference, not in just their ability for them to feel heard and feel individually loved by myself and my wife, but to have them actually have their ideas valued and implemented within the family. It's powerful, I tell you. You may not even realize that it's happening, that you're not hearing the true voice of the kids within your family or from your spouse, you may not even realize it. I know that I haven't. There have been times where we haven't been aware of it, didn't even realize that. We thought that everyone's hearing until we start to talk one on one, and realized that it wasn't as clear as we thought. 

You'll have your other children that are more outspoken, but they too need the one-on-one time. Sometimes they're outspoken and they do things just to get a reaction or they do things because they're trying to be someone in front of the whole family. And of course, most of the time, they're probably being themselves in front of a close family. But I'm telling you, being one on one, even with those children, you'll find, they will say things differently. They'll take the time to think about what they want and where they want to go. And you can help ask questions to help guide their thinking and learn what they're thinking. Do the same with your wife. So often I know I'll find my wife and I will end up trying to talk amongst everybody, all the craziness that's going on in the family. We'll be in the middle of the kitchen, making dinner, and some kids are screaming “Mom, mom, dad! I have homework due tomorrow. I want this. I don't want to eat meatloaf for dinner, I want pizza.” And everybody's screaming and yelling, me and my wife are trying to have a conversation. Some communication has to happen that way, just ‘cause that’s life. That's where we live, we live in the middle of it all. But when me and my wife have a chance to be one on one, whether that's a walk in the evening, or maybe we're on our weekly date night that we make sure we have, that we didn't always have in the past. And I'm telling you, years ago, when we finally started doing that every single week without fail, like we do not miss it, we find some way. Even if it's something just super simple, we don't make it complicated but we do it, we take that time away. And I'm telling you that has made all the difference in our life and our communication because we're able to speak freely, speak clearly, clarify our vision and expectations for each other and for our family. It allows us to be able to lead our family well and together, make intentional decisions for what we want these big rocks to be that we want to put in our life. And almost as important as what big rocks to put in are the rocks to take out. What do you need to remove from your life? What's in your life right now that is not adding to your goals for your family, for your business, for your health, for your faith, whatever is most important to you, what is not adding? It doesn't have to detract a ton or be a bad thing to be something that takes away from your life. There are a lot of good things that take time and focus and energy away from those things that are most important. 

So, all the things we just talked about apply to the family are principles that we typically apply just to work. We almost forget that we need those same principles in our family. At work, people need to be heard. I know I've had some of the sharpest people on my teams in the past have often been those that would not speak up. They are team players, they would go to the ends of the earth for you, their leader. They'll work hard. They'll work long hours. They'll put in all of their best effort for you and for the team. But often, they're not the ones that speak up, and you have to give them a chance to speak, a chance to be heard. In the same way, as we have to put these big rocks of the most important things at home. After we've done at home, like I do home first, then at work, you can go and put in the big things at work as well. Determine what's important and remove those things that aren't, that are taking your time away. Help your team understand that they could do the same thing for themselves as well. They can be focused on figuring out how they remove these things that are clogging up their lives at work. They'll begin to do the same thing with their employees. They'll begin to do the same things in their own homes as you teach them, as their leader, these very true principles. And it all comes back to meeting one on one with your people. 

Once again, we've shared our one-on-one transformation tool, the link is in the notes if you'd like to download that, that'll actually give you some of my guidelines that I do to make them effective like we talked about today. 

Another thing that I find really makes all the difference is if you're not clear on what needs to happen, or you feel like it's a little too overwhelming, continue to focus and think and ponder and give yourself some quiet time on your own to think, and you'll begin to have the ideas that you need to do, they'll begin to come to you. If you don't ever take any quiet time for yourself as a leader, you won't be able to have the clarity you need to lead. And if after doing all of this, you still feel like you need a few more strategies or you want a little help to accelerate these things, go ahead and book a free call with me. I would love to sit down and chat with you, virtually. You can go on my website, ClintHoopes.com. And go ahead and click on the coaching link there. And you can book a call with me, and we can go through and we can talk about a strategy that will work specifically for you to be able to accomplish these things in your life and in your business. I'd love to speak with you. You got this. I can't wait to hear all about the wonderful successes that you have by putting your family first. Take care. Until next week.