Let me give you an example.
Recently, I squeezed in some playtime and enjoyed a game of Civilization V. It’s sort of a “conquer-the-world” type thing.
Anyway, partway through, the civilization of Venice started really giving me some troubles.
Nothing too serious. Just taking over my city-state allies and stuff.
A day in the life, you know?
Anyway, I didn’t really take care of the situation early enough, and by the time I got around to addressing it (and other problems), things had blown up (literally) and I ended up losing the game.
The lesson I learned?
First off, be careful of Venetians.
But also, don’t let problems fester. Venice festered. Venice got out of control.
Deadline festering? Don’t let it turn into Venice.
Or any other historical country, for that matter.