Author: Dr. Ajit Varwandkar

Laddu Pinto had switched  over to join a new organisation recently. He was delighted to get an entry into the dream company, especially during such times when the media is full of news about layoffs and the impending US recession. The new responsibility, a hefty compensation package, and this role didn’t come without complexities and challenges. Eventually, the new circumstances became all the more daunting and unmanageable for Laddu. Not that he didn’t have the desired operational skills, but because he was finding it tough to address the ever-increasing expectations. 

In his previous job, Laddu had gained an immense level of comfort. Having repeatedly done the same work for months, he had become a master of his job role. It was the monotonicity of that job which had promoted him to resign and look for a change. He never knew that the future would expect a better resilient attitude from him.

In the new organisation, Laddu was required to excel and simultaneously deliver results in multiple projects. On one end, seniors had super high expectations from him. On the other, his team members were not very supportive. He did his best to balance and set the ball rolling. But Alas! It was like a night in the stable of camels. You can never have all the camels sleeping at any given time. As you put one down to sleep, there are another few camels ready to stand and create a disturbance. 

Perplexed, Laddu met me to get some support. I heard his story and was assured that there is a perfect solution available to manage such a complex situation. I asked him to make a comprehensive list of all the conditions/expectations he had been facing at the workplace. Once that was done, I offered him a “Situations Management Technique” called ” IF at Work”. The acronym ‘IF’ stands for two powerful terms intertwined as a formula.  

What is this IF formula?

I – Ignore

F- Focus

How does this Situations Management Technique work?

Well, here is the operational secret to this technique. 

Step I: List all your priorities (which Laddu already had done)

Step II: Plan your work for two hours at a time. (I asked Laddu to first plan his work for only the coming two hours)

Step III:  Define your IF factors for these two hours with clarity.

I suggested Laddu to identify his key priorities and commitments of the day. 

Step IV: Determine the IGNORE & FOCUS factors

Once Step III was achieved, I asked Laddu to decide what compelling ( or irritating factors) he could hold unaddressed for just two hours. Yes, just for 2 hours only”. Those factors were then classified as his IGNORE Factors. 

Likewise, Laddu identified the FOCUS factors. Those were the ‘urgent’ as well as ‘important’ nature assignments. The works for which he had no option to push forward or postpone under any circumstance.

Now Laddu was ready with his I & F factors.

Step V: For the next two hours, ignore all the I factors and only work on the F factors. 

Now Laddu knew what he was supposed to IGNORE and also what needed his 100% FOCUS. He started behaving accordingly for the next two hours. Every two hours, he had to redefine his IF factors. Thus, life became cool and satisfying for him. 

This Situations Management Technique started showing results instantly. Laddu was surprised to see the magical impact come through. As a result, he found himself peaceful amidst the chaos. There were many more positives of this technique. His work efficiency, relationship management, and team-building efforts got dramatically improvised.   

With a calm mind and ever-increasing sense of accomplishment, he started making improved quality decisions. 

Friends, if you are also going through stressful work situations, start using this Situation Management Technique called “IF at Work”. I am sure you will feel relaxed and happy in your life. 

Do contact me in case you have any career queries.

Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at

This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India