Merriam-Webster defines crunch time as a critical moment or period when decisive action is needed. Crunch time is frequently associated with sports. A player or team may be at a crucial moment late in the game when his next play or shot could be the difference between winning and losing.
I’ve chosen this topic as today’s blog because in many ways I feel that my own life is in a crucial period where decisive action is needed. I firmly believe the next month will see the culmination of many divergent events that I’ve been involved with. From real estate deals to personal business to career opportunities – they are all coming to a head. In recent posts I’ve shared details of multi-tasking and staying focused to my own possibilities for 2010.
So knowing that crunch time is right around the corner or even right now, how do some succeed while others fail during these moments? What perspective should you maintain during these times? How can you increase your chances for success when a critical moment is staring you in the face?
You’ve arrived at crunch time or a critical period not by chance. Lots of planning, effort and actions have been already been taken to get you to this moment. The final minute of the Super Bowl occurs only after many months of practice, regular season games and several playoff games. For most of us, the critical moment arrives at the culmination of our prior efforts; we are in that moment because of the choices we’ve made.
Here are 3 ideas that can help you succeed when you find yourself in crunch time.
- Follow your instincts. Your planning and training have served you well to this point; now isn’t the time to borrow someone else’s playbook. Rather, you need to stick to the basics and follow your instincts. Fred L. Turner says, “Work hard, use your common sense and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts.”
- Keep your eye on the ball. In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest is instructed in playing ping-pong to “never, ever take your eye off the ball.” The same can be said for crunch time. The planning and actions previously taken and have gotten you to this moment – now isn’t the time to go for a trick play or start running for a different set of goal posts. Keep your eye on your original goal.
- Maintain perspective. Joe Montana is famous for orchestrating the game winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII. During that drive, he spotted comedian John Candy in the stands and mentioned it to his teammates in the huddle. That comment eased the tension and stress level at that moment. The reality of the situation was it was only a game – albeit an important game. Joe Montana knew how to maintain perspective and enjoy the moment – despite it being a pressure packed situation.
Crunch time is a critically important time and can be pressure packed. But if you remember that first and foremost you are in crunch time because of the choices you’ve made – it will be easier to succeed. You’re there because you wanted to be there. And once you are there just follow your instincts, keep your eye on the ball and maintain perspective. I’m betting you’ll look back on the experience of crunch time and say, “Hey, that was kind of fun … and I did it!”
Next Blog Title: Staying in the Moment!
Next Blog Date: Thursday, March 11, 2010