I love the analogy, and it actually triggers some additional thoughts about my own packing philosophy. When I pack, I try to embrace the idea of forgetting SOMETHING--no idea what, but something will always be forgotten. As long as I have my ID and enough money to eat, the rest can be handled over time. Perhaps there's a bit of learning there too--it's not a cliff of preparation, where if you don't get it all done by a certain time, you're falling off the cliff. Rather, the preparation process goes in fits and starts, and rolling with the unexpected helps reduce the stress of that preparation.
So, not only do you pack earlier, but you let yourself pack later, too.