first things first

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first things first

Said when one thing needs to be prioritized over others. I know we have a lot to discuss, but first things first—has anyone heard back from the printer?
See also: first, thing
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

First things first.

Prov. Do things in the proper order; do not skip things that you should do first. Jill: Should we go to the museum first, or should we go shopping? Jane: I'm hungry. Let's eat lunch before we discuss it. First things first. First things first: read the directions carefully before you try to assemble the bookcase.
See also: first, thing
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

first things first

The most important task gets priority, as in I very much wanted to see that movie, but first things first-the paper's due tomorrow. This adage was first recorded in 1545.
See also: first, thing
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

first things first

important matters should be attended to before anything else.
First Things First was the title of a book by George Jackson , subtitled ‘Addresses to young men’ ( 1894 ).
See also: first, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌfirst things ˈfirst

(often humorous) the most important or necessary duties, matters, etc. must be dealt with before others: First things first. We must make sure the electricity is turned off before we start repairing the cooker.We have a lot to discuss, but, first things first, let’s have a cup of coffee!
See also: first, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

first things first

The most important task should have priority. The implication of this expression, which dates from the nineteenth century, is that there may well be no time to do more than the most important thing. Or, as Shirley Conran put it (in Superwoman, 1975), “First things first, second things never.”
See also: first, thing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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