When problems arise, the natural thing to do is to put them off and run away from them. I’ve you’ve ever said something like, “I can’t think about this right now, I’ll deal with it later”, you know what I mean.
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And I get it. Problems in our personal or work lives are tempting to ignore because they’re generally no fun to deal with. And why would you choose to work on something that’s difficult and no fun when you can find something easy and enjoyable to do instead?
But I’d argue that one of the keys to better productivity and general happiness is solving problems as quickly as possible. The quicker you can deal with a problem, the less time you have to worry about it and the lower the chance of it coming up again.
For example, having built a lot of automated processes in my business using Zapier, sometimes a Zap can throw up an error. This happens from time to time as integrations change or maybe human error is part of the issue. When these issues come up, I like to fix the problem as quickly as I can. In fact, I like when these little problems because they create an opportunity to make the entire automation more robust and reliable.
Or if you ever need to have an uncomfortable conversation with a client or colleague, it’s very tempting to hide from the problem and pretend everything is okay. Instead, I think it’s better to address the issue head-on. This reminds me a lot of the quote Tim Ferriss has in The 4-Hour Workweek:
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
And this idea is similar to the post I shared a little while ago where I talked about how to avoid doing things ever again. If customers or clients ask you the same question over and over again, or the same issues keep coming up for your customer support team, ask yourself what you need to do to avoid having to deal with these issues ever again. Maybe you need better support documentation, or perhaps you need to improve your onboarding process. By constantly solving problems and ensuring they can’t happen again, you’re actually setting yourself up for a future where you have fewer problems to deal with on a daily basis.
On the flip side, by kicking the can down the road, you’re simply delaying the inevitable. Unless you solve the root cause of the problem, it’ll probably happen again anyway. So why not find a solution now and save time later? You’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress along the way.