The Priority

We hear a lot about “priorities” in the corporate world, but to use this word in the plural form is to debase it of its intent. Priority is a singular noun by definition; we do not have “priorities”. The Latin root of priority is prior, meaning former or to come before. Thus the priority on your list of things to do is the one that comes first, hopefully because it’s the most important and urgent thing you need to take care of.

This means only one thing can come first… To be in second place is to come before third, but it is not to be first. There is only one priority just as there is only one first. To say we have priorities is a misuse of the word. Instead, what we have is a list of decisions, actions, projects, etc. that need to be ranked by importance; something that has a profound effect on success, survival or well-being.

End rant.

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