first things first
- Let's deal with matters of highest priority first; let's deal with matters in logical sequence.
1830, Christian Observer, On Prophetic Speculation:
- There is a sound common-sense maxim, frequently heard among the wise and prudent of this world—First things first, […]
1922, H. G. Wells, chapter 4, in The Secret Places of the Heart:
- “First things first,” said Sir Richmond. “If we set about getting fuel sanely, if we do it as the deliberate, co-operative act of the whole species, then it follows that we shall look very closely into the use that is being made of it.”
1999 July 23, Frank Pellegrini, “House Republicans Quell Mutiny Over Tax Bounty”, in Time:
- Judging by the polls—which still favor Clinton and his mantra of “first things first” (Medicare and education)—the public senses it too.
2007 October 21, Jenni Muir, “Essentials for a wannabe chef—sugar, cream, mouse”, in Sunday Times, UK:
- First things first, you need the right tools.
let's deal with matters of highest priority first