A sampler of how some busy people take control of their time:

Tennis star Billie Jean King: "I've had to learn to say no instead of trying to do everything. I stick to a routine, think ahead and try to be very organized. My calendar is already marked with everything I've scheduled for the next year."

WMAL co-anchor Renee Poussaint: "My Bible is my little address and memo book. It has small spaces so I keep from going overboard and scheduling too many things each day.

"I generally avoid having meetings in my office -- they get too long and social. I like to meet people in the hall. I can always use a breaking story as an excuse to get away -- especially when I'm on the phone. I say, 'Excuse me but a ship just sunk.'"

Assistant to the President Sarah Weddington: "I carry a debate notebook filled with cards containing individual To-Do lists for myself and members of my staff.

"I have a speeded-up tape recorder that plays speeches or news summaries about 1 1/2 to 2 times as fast as they were spoken. It sounds like normal conversation because the mind can take in information faster than someone can talk."

Rep. Gladys Spellman (D-Md.): "I never just talk on the telephone. I'm always doing something -- working on paperwork or cleaning my house -- at the same time. I carpool with my aide and spend the time on the road going through mail and my "hot" folder.

"I only sleep three to five hours a night, and often work in the middle of the night when there are no interruptions. And I have a rule the men complain about -- when I conduct hearings there is no break until the job is done."

Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.): "I use my 'flamingo rule' when conducting meetings: If you want to talk you have to stand on one foot."

Ms. magazine editor Gloria Steinem: "Whenever possible, conduct meetings with a firm deadline. Or with no chairs.

"Learn to say 'I'm sorry, I never have lunch.' It's amazing how much faster the same appointment will go if you don't eat while you're having it."

Opera diva Beverly Sills: "When I wake up I get up, when I get up I get dressed, and when I get dressed I get going."

Essence magazine editor-in-chief Daryl Royster Alexander: "Being a black woman means being born with the notion that you've got to be able to cope with everything no matter what speed it's coming at you. Therein lies a dilemma.

"I keep lists for my personal and private life and a separate one for my 11-month-old. I use the first hour each morning to put my affairs in perspective, line up the heavies and delegate the details."

Nella Manes, president of Ehrilch Manes ad agency: "My biggest time problem is salesmen who want to go through a long story. So I stand up when I think it's time for him to go, and he'll stand up, too. If we stand too long I walk to the door with him."

Alan Lakein, author of "How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life": "I don't own a television set. I keep my watch three minutes fast to get a head start on the day."