The first casualty of war is the plan. So, how do I regroup and take the hill?
1) Define "Crunch" Time: 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days. Never longer than that, 'cause of that whole thing about burning the candle at both ends, brains melting, and body rebelling.
2) Prioritize: P0 = Can't Live w/o. P1 = Must do. P2 = Should do. P3 = Want to do. P4 = Outsource. Not everything can, would, should be done NOW. Some stuff gets pushed to post-panic time; some stuff just doesn't happen. Be realistic. Be honest. Be ruthless.
3) Renegotiate Deadlines: If others are depending on me for a deliverable, then I owe it to them to let them know as soon as possible that I will not make the date. However, I make damned sure the "new" date is one that includes a bit of padding. There is no way I will be late again.
Side Note: I don't waste time assigning blame or crafting excuses. It's not the issue, and no one cares. They only care about when they're going to get their stuff.
4) Ask for Help: I have the hardest time with this one, but when needs must...I must ask. 90% of the time people are happy to help.
5) Forgive Myself: I despise letting people down. I despise not delivering on a commitment. Doesn't matter if circumstances were/are beyond my control, I still feel accountable. And for all those times the fault truly is mine, I have to accept I'm fallible (mmm crow, tasty), and move on. FYI, guilt, panic, worry, and dread are not conducive to productivity. Let. It. Go.
Buckle up and buckle down. When crunch time is over, you and that next schedule are going to have a little chat about contingency plans and padded dates.