This last week I caught myself using the phrase, “Pass the buck”. This was nothing new, I use it regularly, but this time it made me pause. I wondered about the phrase, where it came from, and how it came into common use.
Here’s the history lesson. Pass the buck came from poker games in the 1800s. Imagine those Holywood saloons of the old West. It was common practice to place a small object in front of the person whose turn it was to deal the cards. The object was often a shotgun shell with buckshot and other times a knife with a buck handle. That’s it. Funny how it came to take on such a different meaning today.
To continue with the history lesson – we can thank President Harry S. Truman for the shift of meaning with his frequent use of the phrase, “the buck stops here.” Truman was famous for insisting that whoever held the office of the president held the ultimate responsibility to deal with things – to not pass them on or blame others.
Yet So Often We Procrastinate?
A New York Times article suggests it’s not because you are lazy. It’s because you are emotional.
“Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.”
Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa adds, “Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem.” In other words, procrastination is more about being focused on “the immediate urgency of managing negative moods” than getting on with the task.
This isn’t a groundbreaking blog post about how to stop procrastinating or how to get things done. There are too many articles out there that promise to change your life in five steps.
Instead, I simply want to suggest, that this emotion Dr. Pychyl talks about is real. You aren’t lazy. You just have a feeling that’s getting in the way. Maybe you just need help and expertise. This isn’t passing the buck, it’s project management. Consider your biggest IT projects – you know, the ones with a steep learning curve. As a small or medium-sized business, with limited or no IT staff, you should consider partnering with Managed IT Services or IT Compliance Services. Lean on a team that has worked through similar challenges again and again. Partner with TekConcierge.