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Towards a sweet spot of urgency

There is a sweet spot of urgency between “never getting to it, leaving it in a pile for months and months until it explodes” and “I’ve got to do it now now now or I’ll die die die.” Often that sweet spot is within the next two weeks or so. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned the last few years, or, rather, I’m still trying to learn it.

This goes for everything, and it definitively does apply to relationship drama. Sometimes adding some time into the mix is a great thing so you can let your own emotions cool a bit. Not completely—anger is a great motivator—but enough so that you can express yourself clearly and (more importantly) listen clearly.

Now, it’s completely understandably human nature that a lot of us have had these two modes. Doing things “later” requires executive tools (you don’t need anything fancy, a piece of paper can do just fine) and skills. Doing things immediately is motivated, and doing things as they have exploded is also motivated. Doing things when they are cool is hard.

It requires, not necessarily willpower but a scaffolding of sorts, such as a “to do” list habit or a calendar habit.

They should teach those skills in school; I learned them later in life (when I was 26) and basically felt like I had wasted my entire existence up until that point. But, that in turn was fifteen years ago and yet I didn’t realize until last year or so that this also meant that I can solve problems and address conflicts in that sweet spot of urgency when they’re not in a completely explode-o-rific crisis mode. That I can solve them mañana.

I still need to get better at it, and sometimes there are external factors that do make it more urgent. (This is reason 160389576 why the internet sucks: if you’re too slow in an internet argument, and let a misunderstanding stand, a thousand people will jump in with their helpful head-off-biting and gentle screaming. But that’s why offline FTW.)