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If I need to deliver a message or give simple directions to someone for work, I call them after hours when I know Ill get their voice mail. This avoids chitchat or going through the receptionist and often takes less time than typing out an e-mail (Plus, when I leave a message on the phone, my hands are free to do something else at the same time). And if I ever have any reading to do for work, I never do it while sitting at my disk. Instead I take it with me and read while Im standing in line or waiting for an appointment.

Carolyn B. Thompson, 41, Frankfort, IL

Excerpted from the July 2000 issue of Redbook Magazine,,