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Fix Your Hair in 3 Minutes
It's 5 p.m. at the office, you look as frazzled as you feel, and—surprise!—you (and your disheveled hair) are expected at a cocktail party starting in T minus 59 minutes.

Pull yourself together by working a silicone-based styling balm from the midsection to the ends of your hair, says Jimmy Paul, a New York City stylist. (We love Bumble and bumble Defrizz, $25.) "It gets rid of any frizz and immediately adds shine and definition to your style," he says. (Fine-haired types, apply the balm only to your ends, since silicone tends to weigh hair down.)
Right Turn

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Finish Errands in a Flash
Taking a left-hand turn on a busy two-way street can be a maddening time suck—minutes tick by as you sit, idling, with your blinker on. UPS drivers avoid this by taking right turns whenever possible. The company has developed a software program that maps out delivery routes using a majority of right turns—a move that last year helped save the company about 3 million gallons of fuel and shaved more than 28 million miles off their routes. UPS employees now use this trick on their off-hours and swear that it can trim at least a minute from each errand—and five errands an hour means five to 10 minutes' worth of saved time.

UPS spokesperson and confirmed right-turner Lynnette McIntire says she borrows yet another trick from the company's drivers, who are trained to put their key rings on their pinky finger when they exit the truck. "It saves me so much time," she says. "If you're carrying groceries, you don't have to dig in your purse for keys—they're right there on your little finger."
Grocery Shopping

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Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
Zerofootprint.net gives you easy ways to reduce your impact on the global environment. (Unplug your cell phone charger once the phone has been charged! Buy apples from Washington or New York, not Fiji!) You can compare your carbon footprint to others' (by city or country), and hook up with like-minded people in your area (if you want to carpool or sponsor a farmers' market).

So take the O challenge and reduce your footprint by 10 percent. If 3 million readers succeed, we'll accomplish the environmental equivalent of planting and caring for 91 million tree seedlings for 10 years, or removing 690,000 cars from the road, or reducing the emissions of Liechtenstein 13 times over.

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Win Over a Baby
"Don't look at the child's face," says T. Berry Brazelton, MD, author of Touchpoints: Birth to Three and clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Babies are hypersensitive communicators, he says: At three days old, infants recognize their mother's voice, and at two weeks, they prefer their father's face to other men's.

Everyone else has their work cut out for them. "Look to the child's side or over his shoulder," says Brazelton. "This way he won't feel overwhelmed." Allow the child to set the pace. He'll signal when he's ready to make friends by trying to get your attention—an infant will attempt to match your gaze, a slightly older baby will coo, a toddler will reach out for you or make funny faces.
Home Library

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Build an Instant Home Library
For book lovers who want a more comprehensive library, publishers are making the process simpler. Amazon.com sells The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection, over 1,000 paperbacks dressed up in Penguin's recognizable black and orange bindings; it retails for $13,413 and weighs a mere 700 pounds.

Hardcover aficionados might prefer The Everyman's 100, a set of the bestselling titles at EverymansLibrary.com for $2,282; The Histories by Herodotus to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. If you're more interested in modern masterpieces, Everyman's also offers the Contemporary Classics, 20th-century works for $4,015. "It's a great sampling of writers as varied as Toni Morrison and Vladimir Nabokov," says Roz Parr, who helped assemble both collections. "They're beautiful editions with curved bindings and ribbon markers—and surprisingly well priced given the production value."

We understand laying out thousands of dollars at once isn't always practical. Enter Harvard Classics, also known as The Legendary Five Foot Shelf of Knowledge. The titles—"all the books needed for a real education"—were selected by Charles W. Eliot, who was president of Harvard in 1910. Today, you can sign up at EastonPressBooks.com to receive one leather-bound volume from his list each month ($70).

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Organize E-mail in a Snap
"Stop trying to create a folder for every topic in your life," says Gina Trapani, editor of the personal productivity blog Lifehacker.com. "It's hopeless, not to mention a total time, energy, and creativity drain." Instead drag your messages into her trusted trio of folders:

"It's your e-mail reference library," says Trapani. It contains everything you might someday want or need. "You just don't need to separate old e-mails into different folders, because you can always search this dumping ground by sender, topic, or keyword."

This folder would be for everything that requires someone else's help. Trapani says, "Don't put stuff in your follow-up folder that you can't actually follow up on yet."

This would contain all the e-mails that you must respond to but require more than two minutes to do so. (For any e-mails that take less than that to answer, you should respond as you read them.)

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Leverage What the Web Has to Offer
Get the News You Want in Two Minutes
Build your own info-packed iGoogle home page with feeds from your favorite newspapers, blogs, and websites by going to Google.com/ig and opening an account (Gmail users can sign in with their e-mail address and password). A blue box will appear at the top, asking you to pick from popular sites (like Weather.com, CNN.com, or BBC News) to get started; check the ones you'd like and hit Save.

You can then arrange the feeds, which appear as boxes with linked text and pictures, by clicking and dragging them. To find more feeds—including videos from The Daily Show, or a photo from DailyPuppy.com—click on Add Stuff in the top right-hand corner and begin your hunt. Once you've got all the news and eye candy you need, click on Back to Homepage in the top left.

Manage Your Healthcare
Self-diagnosers already turn to the web to find out what their symptoms might mean. In 2008, Google started to deliver more targeted health results by asking industry experts to flag reliable sources of medical information. In a presentation at the 2007 Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Marissa Mayer, the company's head of search announced that users would also be able to—Eureka!—find an actual doctor by searching on specialty, affiliation and location, and store their personal medical records.

The biggest breakthrough for the consumer could be having digital and portable health records, "maybe so portable you can carry it on a USB drive," said Mayer in her presentation. "You could travel around the globe and know that your records are a few keystrokes and password away."

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Save Time and Your Wrists By Using Keystrokes
Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that typing on a keyboard probably doesn't cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Using a mouse for more than 20 hours each week is what puts you at a higher risk. To avoid a potentially painful situation, use keystroke combinations to perform actions you need to do a lot. There are literally thousands of shortcuts. Check the menu when you're using a program like Microsoft Outlook or Adobe Photoshop, and you'll see them listed to the right of the actions they correspond to. To get started, master these basics.

Action: Cut or copy and paste
Mac: Apple + X, Apple + C, and Apple + V
PC: Ctrl + X, Ctrl + C, and Ctrl + V
Why they help: Almost everyone's first set of shortcuts eliminates two to four mouse clicks.

Action: Select All
Mac: Apple + A
PC: Ctrl + A
Why it helps: Before you cut, copy, or delete, you must select.

Action: Find and replace
Mac: Apple + F
PC: Ctrl + F
Why it helps: If you spell "recommend" with two "c's" in a document repeatedly, you only need to fix it once. You can also find text in a document or a web page without having to read.

Action: Toggle between applications
Mac: Apple + Tab
PC: Alt + Tab
Why it helps: Multi-tasking takes on a new meaning when it's only one click between tasks.

Action: Take a screenshot
Mac: Apple + Shift + 3
PC: Print screen then paste (Ctrl + V) into a document
Why it helps: Instant examples in your greeting cards and presentations!

Action: Move through fields on a website form
Any platform or browser: Tab/Shift + Tab
Why it helps: You can register for a website, apply for a job, and more without touching your mouse.

Action: Force quit
Mac: Apple + Alt + Escape
PC: Ctrl + Alt + Delete
Why it helps: A computer meltdown doesn't have to be a real-world time suck.
Email Address

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Change Email Addresses and Bring Your Contacts With You
Taking time to retype your contacts into a new email program's address book is tedious; it almost defeats the purpose of switching to an email provider that's simple and fast. Quinn McHenry, co-founder of Tech-Recipes.com, has a solution. He says that moving your address book is easy as C. S. V. That's the type of file you need to follow his eight-step recipe for moving all of your contacts from Hotmail to Gmail—it only took us 90 seconds!

  1. While logged into hotmail, go to the toolbar and select "contacts".
  2. From there, go to "options" in the upper-right corner and select "export contacts".
  3. When prompted to open or save the file, select "save" and place in the desired location. A ".csv file", which contains your contact list, will now be on your computer.
  4. Login to your Gmail.com account.
  5. Using the menu bar at left, click on the "contacts" link.
  6. On the upper right hand corner, select "import".
  7. Click "browse" and find your .csv file. "Open" it and click on the "import contacts" button.
  8. Wait for confirmation, close, done.

Starting from Yahoo!, AOL, or another e-mail provider? Get yourself to step 3 by searching your program's help center. Then, follow steps 4 through 8.

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Foolproof Flowers
A surefire way to order fresh, pretty flowers is OrganicBouquet.com. The nation's first online organic florist uses flowers grown with minimal chemicals and, when possible, supplied by local growers. Best of all, the elegant, baby's-breath-free arrangements look like the kind of bouquet that a green-thumbed neighbor would drop off.

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Make E-mail Pictures Smaller to Speed Up Transmission Time
If you use the Mac's built-in mail software, says Mark Frauenfelder, author of Rule the Web, drag the photos into a new e-mail message, click on the drop-down menu in the lower right corner, and use it to resize the photos as small, medium, large, or full-size. (Medium is usually best.)

For Microsoft Windows, open the folder containing the photos and highlight the ones you want to send. Click on "E-mail the selected items" under the File and Folder Tasks menu on the left of the folder. Windows will give you the option to make your photos smaller before sending them using the e-mail program of your choice.

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Discover Foodies' Favorite Restaurants In a New City
It's not easy to find great restaurants when you're on vacation. Ask a local and you're liable to be pegged as a tourist and directed to the "fancy" place with mediocre food. To find out where the native foodies eat, says O food editor Celia Barbour, don't wait until your last night in town for your big night out. Splurge on a fantastic meal* the first night. Make your reservation for early or late, when the place won't be packed and the staff won't be harried. Then befriend your waiter, your sommelier, your bartender, and your chef, if he appears in the dining room. Ask them where they go on their days off, what's their favorite diner, the best place for breakfast, the shack eight miles out of town with fried chicken to die for. Make it clear that this is a mission, and that without their help it will fail. Vacations are too short for even one bad meal.

* To pick that one great restaurant: Check Zagat.com, post a query on Chowhound.com, or look up the city you're visiting on the James Beard Foundation Web site (JamesBeard.org)—every year the foundation gives awards to leading chefs and restaurants around the country.
Aiport Line

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Set a Land-Speed Record Getting Through an Airport
The trick is to be an elite-status frequent-flier, says travel expert Randy Petersen, publisher of Inside Flyer magazine and WebFlyer.com. "Elite-status lines at the airport security counter can cut an hour of waiting," he says. "And you don't have to be Mr. Titanium or Mr. Diamond to get in." Two good choices are US Airways and Frontier Airlines, where it's easier to obtain elite status.

Another antidote to the dreaded security line is Clear (clearme.com). Prescreened applicants pay an annual fee of $179 and complete the registration process at an enrollment station, where their fingerprints and iris scans are taken. Members then breeze through a dedicated security line. "Clear cards" are only accepted at Orlando International Airport and Denver International Airport, but the company is working to expand to major airports nationwide.

Once you land, Petersen has devised a strategy for the rental car lot. All companies, he says, feature perks for loyal costumers, but National Car Rental's Emerald Club offers the Emerald Club Aisle, he says. "When you get off the bus, there are two aisles with 30 or 40 cars each, and you choose any car you want." The paperwork is waiting in each car. Members show a club card on the way out, and off they go. "I've gotten off the bus and through the exit in fewer than 35 seconds," says Petersen. "I scared a few people and burned a little rubber, but I did it."

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Heal Muscle Strains Faster
Overdo it at the gym and you can end up with delayed onset muscle soreness, which can leave you hobbling for up to 72 hours. Research suggests that heat and stretching beforehand won't help, but an Australian study found that massage, given within three hours of the injury, resulted in 30 percent less soreness and swelling.

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Add an Instant Dose of Glamour
To start, try highlighting powder, says makeup artist Mally Roncal: "This illuminates all your features, giving your entire face a lift." For a sculpted, luminous face, Roncal uses a one-inch eyeshadow brush to sweep a champagne-colored powder across the cheekbones, blending upward toward the ears.

Another neat trick is a clutch—it can take you from day to evening in a snap.
Boss and Employee

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4 Quick Ways to Annoy Your Boss
1. Don't write things down.
"Your boss will have to repeat herself—it's a waste of her time," says Anita Bruzzese, author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy.

2. Speak incorrectly.
"Learn the vocabulary of your industry," Bruzzese says. "If you don't know exactly what a word means or how to pronounce it, don't use it at work until you do." In general you need to use a word three times in conversation before you can trot it out in a professional situation.

3. Be an egomaniacal assistant.
"Everyone knows your goal in life is not to be an assistant. But right now it's your job," says Bruzzese. Stop thinking about your next promotion, vacation, or raise, and ask what your boss needs and what the company wants from entry-level employees; you might get to the next step sooner.

4. Squander time at training seminars or trade shows.
"The company paid a lot of money for you to go," says Bruzzese. They don't want you at the mall "workshop." Bring back contacts, new skills, or new clients.

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Peel an Orange—with No Sticky Fingers
Slice off 1/4-inch round at stem end of orange.

Starting at the top, score a complete circle around the orange.

Rotate 90 degrees and repeat. Peel back segments of rind, like a petal, from top end.

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Quickest Way to Make Your Scar Disappear
"If the cut is all the way down to the fat layer, you can't make the scar go away completely," says Charles H. Thorne, MD, NYU School of Medicine associate professor of plastic surgery. "You can only make it as inconspicuous as possible." The skin on either side of the wound needs to be lined up; use butterfly bandages to keep the two sides in place and keep tension off the stitches (if you needed them).

Thorne says that although you want to avoid tension (the force pulling the wound apart), for best results you want to apply downward pressure on the wound itself with medical tape. Topical steroids may make a wide or raised scar less visible but can also thin your skin—so use them sparingly. What doesn't work, says Thorne, are vitamin E or aloe products or patented botanical extracts.

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Renew a Driver's License or a Passport—Fast
Some states, such as California, Georgia, and South Carolina, allow you to renew your license online or via mail (if you have a good driving record, a fixed address already in their records, and proof that you've passed a vision test). Nevada and Vermont have DMV Express offices, where renewing a license can take mere minutes.

USA.gov.com will link you to your state's home page, where you can find renewal rules.

If your passport has expired and your vacation is just weeks away, contact AmericanPassport.com). Follow the required steps from their website and for $245-$315 (not including shipping costs), you'll get it back in one to ten business days, depending on the speed of delivery selected.

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A Shot of Confidence
You're about to enter a party filled with smart, charismatic people. You need a boost of confidence—and you need it now. No problem, says top acting teacher Howard Fine, who has taught Salma Hayek, Brad Pitt, and Kerry Washington.

Fine rejects tricks like picturing partygoers in their underwear—or pasting a smile on your face, a mistake he's seen nervous actors make at auditions. "You look like you're doing a beauty pageant or you're demented," he says. "I tell actors that much of the time we walk into rooms, waiting for other people to make us comfortable."

Fine has developed a few exercises to help actors in new situations, which can be adapted to a party entrance. The first is to walk in and take a good look around. "Being self-conscious comes from the lack of orientation to the space around you," he says. "So the simplest thing is to take the attention off yourself—what we call in acting terms 'being in your head'—and onto where you are." Next give yourself a task that will loosen your body language and telegraph self-assurance. In the case of a party, proceed to the bar. "Get a drink," Fine says. "Put something in your hands." Third, circle the room. "When you take stock, you'll see some outgoing souls with people around them laughing, but most of us are dying for someone to come up and talk. Go talk to them." If you strike out, try someone else.

"I've come up with a lot of these techniques to deal with my own issues, as most teachers do," says Fine, who throws star-studded parties. "I have to make myself go to my own events, because if I had my druthers I'd stay home."
Grocery Shopping

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Shortcut of the Future: Grocery Shopping
Hewlett-Packard developed an in-store kiosk called the Retail Store Assistant, or RSA.

Here's how it works:
Enter your phone number or swipe a club card at the kiosk in the supermarket, and the shopping list that you entered online at home pops up on a screen. The RSA matches all your items—cereal, frozen pizza, paper towels—with any available retailer's discounts. Then it prints out the list and a map of the supermarket with the exact location of every item (no more randomly trolling the aisles!).

The RSA also spares you from shuffling through an envelope of coupons by adding a single bar code that contains every offer, to be deducted at one swipe during checkout. And tech-savvy customers who don't want to deal with a paper list can have it downloaded to their cell phones.

Hewlett-Packard is currently in talks with potential business partners. Until that magical day, says Phil Lempert, the self-described "supermarket guru," whittle time by "shopping before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M., and avoiding Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays entirely."

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Fastest Way to Warm Up
Surely you know to add layers and apply heat to your body. Another speedy option is to eat or drink something sweet, says Alaska state trooper Lieutenant Barry Wilson, coordinator of search and rescue.

Sugars help build an internal "fire," creating brief heat and quick energy. For longer-lasting fuel, eat GORP (granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts), which provides more slowly released carbs (the fire's "sticks"), protein, and fat (the "logs").
Tuna Steak

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Dinner on the Table in 10 Minutes
We went to New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, whose article "101 Simple Meals Ready in Ten Minutes or Less" struck a chord with time-strapped readers. They flooded the newspaper's website, says Bittman, author of the book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "It was the most e-mailed article of the month. I got great feedback and terrific ideas from people all over the world." Here—just for O readers—is one more simple meal:

Combine 2/3 cup dark (red) miso, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste). Thin with enough sake to make the mixture pasty. Spread tuna steaks with this paste. Grill or broil until rare.
Doctor's Appointment

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Book a Doctor's Appointment Without Waiting a Month
Lorraine Lorenc, executive director (and wife) of high-powered New York City plastic surgeon Z. Paul Lorenc, MD, says that:

The early bird gets the last-minute appointment. "Patients who cancel often call at night or very early to leave a message with the answering service," she says. "They don't want to speak to a person because they feel guilty." She suggests you call the minute the office opens to nab a cancellation.

If that doesn't work, you should say, "I can come in Wednesday at any time." Leaving it open-ended shows that you're serious.

One last thing: "You know what will not get you in here? Not being nice to us," she says. "Be friendly, and we'll work our butts off to accommodate you."

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Speedy Home Repairs
Find a qualified handyman now by logging on to House Doctors (HouseDoctors.com) or Handyman Connection (HandymanConnection.com). You'll be connected with a local franchise owner who'll contact you to schedule an appointment and estimate. They're reputable, insured, experienced, and, in the case of House Doctors, in uniform.

The average job for Handyman Connection is $500, says marketing vice president Jim Rocchetta, who says that one visit might include replacing a garbage disposal, installing a ceiling fan, changing a faucet, recaulking a tub, and fixing a sticky door.

Best of all: Instead of waiting months for a contractor's schedule to free up, Handyman Connection will typically send someone in two or three days. "And we don't do those 'windowed' appointments between 8 and 12, where you're under house arrest," says Rocchetta. "Man, that irks me. If we tell you we're going to be there at 9, we're there at 9."

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Hassle-Free Ways to Handle Medication
Go for longer-acting options: Ask your pharmacist or physician if there is an extended- or sustained-release version of your medication, which doesn't need to be taken as often. One caveat: "Make sure you have no adverse side effects to the immediate-release option before switching to the long-lasting," says Melinda Joyce, corporate director of pharmacy at the Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Some FDA-approved options include once-daily Ultram ER for moderate to more severe chronic pain, the twice-weekly Oxytrol patch for an overactive bladder, once-weekly Prozac for depression, and the once-monthly Boniva tablet and once-yearly Reclast injection for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Reconsider refills: If your prescription plan allows it, order a 90-day supply of your medication. You save not only time but also money because you don't have as many copays during the year. If you're taking medication for a chronic illness and your current regimen is well controlled, you may ask your doctor to prescribe six months' or a year's worth of refills at once.
Food Label

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A Quick Guide to Food Labels
In a recent study, 200 patients were asked to complete a 24-item measure of food label comprehension. On average, they answered just 69 percent of the questions right.

For time-crunched shoppers, Susan Moores, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, offers the rule of five and 20: An item is considered a poor source of a nutrient if it contains 5 percent daily value or less of that nutrient (based on a 2,000-calorie diet), and an excellent source if it contains 20 percent daily value or more. Depending on whether those figures refer to sugar, say, or fiber, you'll want to adjust your intake accordingly.