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Minimize disruptions to your daily schedule

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Appointments and errands need not devour the lion's share of your "free" time if you follow these tips:

Make location a key. If you travel far to work, decide which errands you can run best in each place. Select a general physician near your home, for when you're too sick to work, but an allergist near the office so you can pop in for shots during your lunch break. Choose a bank with a branch near your office. Sign up for direct deposit—if your employer doesn't offer it, suggest it!

Schedule wisely. Booking time with your favorite hairdresser on Saturday may be tough, unless you're willing to take the 8 a.m. slot. When scheduling appointments, ask when the office is least busy, minimizing your waiting time.

Shop for extra services. A mom-and-pop shop might offer assistance you'd be shocked to receive at a fast-food factory. Example: Carrying a hot pizza to your car when you're toting a toddler. Choose the dry cleaner with a drive-through area, so you can drop off or pick up without parking and carrying the clothes a long distance.

Think outside the (lunch) box. Instead of standing in a long grocery store line after work, pop a cooler with some coldpacks in the car and pick up the milk (and perhaps a quick bite from the deli counter) during your lunch break.

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