A Stitch in Time ...
I am a firm believer in the proverb "A stitch in time saves nine." , that is: "A timely effort will prevent more work later." I did, however, not know anything about the origins of this proverb and went searching for answers on the Internet.
I found a good article at The Phrase Finder that had a nice story and some historical background for this proverb. Even though I knew the meaning of this proverb, I - like many others - found myself asking: "saves nine what?" Well here's the answer given at The Phrase Finder:
"The 'stitch in time' is simply the sewing up of a small hole or tear in a piece of material, so saving the need for more stitching at a later date when the hole has become larger. Clearly, the first users of this expression were referring to saving nine stitches."
As is usual with many proverbs, it is meant as an incentive to the lazy. If you are interested in more background information for this proverb, you can read the entire article at The Phrase Finder. If I am completely honest, I have to admit that I although I am a firm believer in this proverb I have in recent years become a bigger procrastinator. Or perhaps I am just getting better at prioritizing? Or perhaps I'm just making excuses?