“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years" Greg McKeown
Last week on LinkedIn we asked you all the question 'Is your company working towards one priority or two or more priorities?' and here is what you said...
The word 'Priority' was brought into the language in the 1400 as a singular word, meaning 'the very first thing'. Priority stayed in its singular form for the next 500 years.
It wasn't until the 1900's that we pluralised 'priority' and introduced a new word, 'priorities'. As if by changing the word we could somehow bend reality and have multiple 'first' things.
More than one thing cannot be first, it is simply not possible. However 89% of you, or your companies are routinely try to do just that and we are as guilty as anyone. The ideal of having more than one priority is a contradiction in itself. Choosing your top 3 - 5 or 10 priorities might give the impression of many things being the priority but it actually means nothing is.
Author James Clear explains that doing more things does not drive faster or better results. Doing better things drives better results. Even more accurately, doing the one thing as best you can drives better results. The power of choosing one priority is that it naturally guides your behaviour by forcing you to organise your life around that responsibility.
Your single priority becomes an anchor task, the mainstay that holds the rest of your day in place. If things get crazy, there is no debate about what to do or not to do. You have already decided.