Why wait?

You know that thing that’s stressing you out, that you’ve been avoiding, that you try not to think about?

It will not get better.

Not on its own, anyway.

Things almost never resolve themselves. But we consistently wait as something turns from a minor issue into a serious issue and then into a full-blown crisis. Why do we do this? Why not just take care of it as soon as it rears up? It’s unpleasant to face, yes. But if we stop and consider, do we really think it’ll get easier to deal with at the crisis stage?

I’m a procrastinator. I don’t like to even admit that to myself, but everyone who knows me already knows (isn’t it funny how that works?), so I might as well. I have a long way to go, but one thing I’ve realized is that not only does waiting make the problem worse, procrastinating itself is usually worse than just doing the thing I’m putting off. Nine times out of ten, when I buckle down and take care of something I’ve been avoiding, it’s straightforward and relatively painless. Most of the dread was actually just self-reinforcing, based on nothing more than the building anticipation of the task being unpleasant. Not all things are like this, but many are.

Even the things that are genuinely unpleasant and hard to deal with will usually only get worse if we wait. Entropy seems to drive human behavior too.

But like me, you probably know all this. So why do we continue to behave this way?