Priority, Not Priorities
Every time you use the plural form of the word “priority,” you lie to yourself about what actually matters at the present moment.
I know you are capable of doing two things at one time. But I know, as well, that it’s impossible to concentrate on two tasks at once. Here’s a wise insight from in Gary Keller’s book The ONE Thing: “To be precise, the word is priority, not priorities, and it originated in the 14th century from the Latin prior meaning FIRST.”
Once you realize that the word priority should not be plural, you’ll gain victory over all areas of your life. Before this step, you’ll get overwhelmed by an overtime working day and a lack of focus, lots of stress, and lots of mental exhaustion — without really getting anything done. Your “priorities” make you less productive. The thing is, doing the one most important thing, as best you can, produces more meaningful results.
Choose the most meaningful ONE. Your choice means that part of your task is already done. From this point, you know what you must work on — and what you mustn’t. You know what makes the biggest difference in your work and in your life. Your only next step is to start.
What is your big rock? A person with a priority does what matters, while a person without a priority does what is urgent. Think big and focus on the priority that will bring you happiness and a feeling of satisfaction — that’s the one that’ll also produce long-term results.
Celebrate. If you accomplished one or several steps to the destination of your priority, don’t forget to feel the glory of your victory. It will help motivate you to keep going. The only thing you can do is to pay your attention to it at the end of each day.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy — very busy — without being very effective.— Stephen Covey