When it comes to dealing with life's little challenges, there is always a shortcut. Here are a few of our favorites, excerpted and adapted from Marc Favreau's "The Lazy Person's Handbook: Short Cuts to Getting Everything You Want With the Least Possible Effort" (Perigee, $13.95).

The Shortcut to Getting an Important Person to Return Your Phone Call: Pretend you are your own assistant or secretary. Having someone place your phone calls for you will give you an air of importance; important people typically only take calls from other important people.

The Shortcut to Getting Someone Off the Phone: If you have a cell phone, dial your own number. Excuse yourself to answer the incoming call, and then return to say that it's your mother, an important business-related call or someone calling from overseas. Or ring your own doorbell.

The Shortcut to Getting a Promotion: Perfect your listening skills. Don't complain when your boss steals your ideas. Never call in sick on a Monday. Have something intelligent to say at every meeting, or keep your mouth shut.

The Shortcut to Breaking a Bad Habit: Substitute another behavior every time you feel the urge to perform the habit. If you feel the urge to twitch your nose, tap your toes instead. Alternately, drastically increase the habitual behavior until it becomes unbearable.

The Shortcut to Getting Over an Ex-Girlfriend or Ex-Boyfriend: Do not date anyone else immediately after the breakup. Allow yourself one month of being single for each year that you were in the relationship. (If you were dating for six years, you should remain single for at least six months.)

The Shortcut to Getting Your In-Laws to Like You: Seek their advice; listen attentively to it; ignore as needed. Do not live with them under any circumstance. If they ask you if you want to have children, the answer is yes.

Cover of The Lazy Person's Handbook