… isn’t the push to meet a tight deadline, or what you do under pressure.
Crunch time is when you have a bit of time, space and discretion about what to do, and you don’t really feel like showing up.
It’s paying attention to people and processes when they’re doing well, long before they break down
It’s committing a bit of time every week to work on the important, non-urgent tasks that will bear fruit (or suddenly overwhelm you) down the road
It’s going to the gym and doing something when you feel a bit off-colour
It’s about being a pro – about showing up and shipping the work – rather than being ‘authentic‘ or following your feelings in the moment
Crunch time about is what you commit to, under what conditions, and how you set things up and get the work done long before the crisis, so that crunch time in traditional sense rarely happens.
If you can keep your momentum when you’re not feeling great, when your motivation wanes, when there’s an interesting distraction… then you’ve done most of the hard work. The easy days will take care of themselves.
I was going to call this ‘the exponential function’, but I didn’t want to put you off.
This is a key force behind much of Anything Yet: if things grow steadily (say, at the rate of few percent per year) and continue to grow at that rate, it doesn’t take long for that growth to become enormous – we might say overwhelming, and we should also say all-consuming.
The classic line about this is from Dr Albert Bartlett, Manhattan
Project alumni and all-round interesting guy:
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to
understand the exponential function.
I’m not sure I’d go as far as that, but he makes an important point. Here are a couple of great introductions to the idea.