For those of us who love organizing, there’s nothing better than putting everything in its own place. When you’re organizing your desk, everything has its proper spot, the correct drawer, the right shelf, etc. Unfortunately, our brains are no exception to this compulsion.

Being able to compartmentalize is a skill, truly. Sometimes, when you need to focus on something important and you keep getting distracted by something else, it helps to tuck it away in your mind and “deal with it later.”

The problem is, most of us skilled compartmentalizers rarely re-visit these issues. They collect and add up over time. They sit there in the ‘Do Not Open’ file in our minds, slowly increasing in weight. Small moments or situations add to the file, but still it remains unopened.

Eventually, when you make yourself unpack it, it’s overwhelming, and a lot to deal with, because it’s so many things that have added up over time. You never dealt with any of it in the moment, because “not today” seemed like the right answer.

There’s never going to be a right day to deal with stuff you don’t want to deal with. If you compartmentalize everything that bothers you, it’s going to sit there like a cancerous tumor in your brain, getting worse the more you try to ignore it.

Don’t compartmentalize. While it can be helpful in small ways, it can hurt you in the grand scheme of things. If something bothers you, you should address it in the moment. I don’t think you’ll ever regret saying or doing something when you had the chance, but you might regret not saying anything, not doing anything, and not ever dealing with it.

It might be hard, or even scary, but it will feel so much better to have said something, then to never have said anything at all.