tough problems
Illustration: Becca Stadtlander
An Overflowing In-Box
The average person receives about 75 work e-mails a day. Entrepreneur and blogger Marie Forleo gets more than double that, and when she's on deadline she often has to delay responding for weeks. "I roll anything I truly need or want to reply to into an e-mail folder labeled with a date range, from the newest message to the oldest," says Forleo. "Then I set aside 15 minutes each day to respond. Whatever hasn't been filed gets trashed."

A Snowballing white lie
You lied to your husband about liking that garish tie he bought from a mall kiosk, and now he's going to wear it to a job interview. How to come clean? Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, says the first step in handling any untruth is not only to fess up but to explain why you did it. Fibs are easier to forgive if they were rooted in good intentions. To avoid getting into similar jams in the future, refrain from giving instant reactions to questions like "Do you like my___?" or "What do you think about ___?" A few seconds is usually all you need to come up with a tactful way to frame your honest opinion.

A Rift in a Friendship
Somewhere things took a wrong turn, and if you're too stubborn or shy to deal with it, the gap will continue to widen. If the relationship is worth saving, the best way to get things back on track, says life coach Samantha Sutton, PhD, is to pick up the phone and simply say, "I've been feeling distant from you." Then talk through the problem and agree on how you'll stay in touch—the more often you connect, the more likely you'll address issues up front instead of lapsing into long periods of silence.

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