Last updated: Jun 07, 2010
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The drain: Energy-sucking friends

The fix: So its all about her? Take control by steering conversations and outings to your interests, says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, author of It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction. “All connections should have a tennis-match feel—I put something out, you send something back,” she says. If youre not getting what you give, it may be time to cut that friend off.

The drain: Piles of stuff

The fix: Get junk under control by tackling high-visibility spaces, like your mail table, first. “Once you see how good it feels to have tidier surfaces, youll be motivated to tackle bigger projects,” Tessina says. Create temporary and permanent storage—a basket to drop mail in, for instance, and an accordion file, where it gets moved to later.

The drain: A.M. chaos

The fix: Stressing over getting your children to school on time is no way to start the day. The night before, lay out clothing and prepack lunches, so the kids can get dressed and out the door quickly, Tessina says. Also, keep healthy breakfast bars and drinkable yogurts handy for when you need to eat and run.

The drain: Calls galore

The fix: Always being on call can be emotionally draining. Set limits, such as no e-mail after 7 p.m. And reserve weekly Me Time. “On Thursdays, I go for a swim and have lunch alone at my favorite restaurant,” Tessina says. The only rule: Turn the crackberry off.