It happened again. I found myself standing across the counter from a sweet young sales clerk who, in all innocence, asked me, “Do you want to support cancer?”
Heck no! I do not in any way want to donate to cancer! It’s doing a pretty good job all by itself.
Of course, you and I both know what her intention was. She wanted to see if I desired to support cancer research. And my desire or lack of desire to support cancer research is not the point here. The fact is that words mean something – whether you use them or leave them unsaid.
A while back, we posted, Words Choose Them Wisely. The article's focus was that using words wisely makes a difference in your personal and professional life. Check it out; there’s even a portion devoted to how to cuss properly. 😉
Thus, we are brought back to the topic at hand. It is vital in a construction business to understand and correctly use the word priority.
“Priority” Means Something
If you ever need to give an example to explain the word redundancy, try this – Top Priority. The fact is, something is either a priority (singular) or it’s not.
In our culture, we’ve watered down the word priority by simply turning it into a plural word. And when you think about it, if there are a multitude of priorities, then nothing is a priority.
The Paradox of Priority
A priority is the highest in importance – yet a priority can change in the blink of an eye.
Here is an example. There is a construction superintendent who is reluctant to leave the job site at the close of the workday because he is a man intent on making sure that every jot and tittle is accounted for daily.
Don’t even think of asking him to have an impromptu lunch date with you. If he fails to bring a lunch or can’t order one (to eat in front of his computer,) he will do without, so he can remain on-site throughout the day. He arrives early, leaves late, and takes home the “paperwork” (in the form of his laptop) to stay ahead of the game.
His priority is to see that the startup of the project, the end of the project, and all the steps and missteps in between are dealt with promptly and professionally.
Yet, the day he received the call that his son had been in a severe automobile accident, he dropped all construction thoughts (his unwavering priority) and rushed to the hospital immediately without passing the baton of leadership to anyone.
Change the Priority
Have you seen lists like this?
My Life Priorities
These are lists meant to place value in the order of importance and can sometimes be helpful and, at other times, confusing. For example, if time is one of the qualifying factors concerning a priority, then most people would have to change the order of the list to something more resembling this list.
My Life Priorities
But if time is taken out of the picture, other factors make this list challenging to understand. A single priority can seem to co-mingle with one or more of the other listed priorities. For example, one of the reasons you spend so much time working is so that you can support your family. And why bother if your church or another place of worship doesn’t support your interaction with God?
If You Don’t Get Anything Else
The point of this post is to get you to think about the word priority in a new way. When you hear the word priority, your antenna should go up. When the issue concerns relative importance, throwing in the word priority may cloud the issue or devalue other items of great significance. When you think, or someone tells you that a particular matter must take priority, ask yourself, “Does this issue rise to the high level of what the word priority means?”
Some words you may wish to consider when deciding order of importance or next steps to take can include:
Then, when planning, facing a dilemma, dealing with an issue, or otherwise strategizing, it will be much easier to determine the one item that is truly a priority.
What About the Mechanics of Prioritizing?
You may still have questions concerning the mechanics of prioritizing.
If you keep in mind that there are other words to use when delving into prioritizing, you’ll find many online posts that offer to guide you – replace their list of “priorities” with words from the list above. You can check them out – supply your own words for priority, and you’ll see the big picture.
You’ll find examples of the techniques and mechanics of prioritizing your work and life. One example is this post written by Jory MacKay on the RescueTime blog. It is lengthy and comprehensive, suggesting nine different “practical methods” for prioritizing.
Reflection: When thinking about putting tasks, ideas, strategies, or anything else in order of importance, what word or words best fit your present needs?
Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
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