Meetings can drag on forever, with speakers talking on and on - especially when they're in love with their own voices. Here's one incentive that might help cut them short: If the speakers are asked to stand, they'll generally be quick and to the point. Source: "If You Haven't Got Time To Do It Right, When Will You Find Time To Do It Over?" by Jeffrey J. Mayer (Simon & Schuster, $17.95.)

- CLEANING THE BATHROOM can be a snap with a little ongoing effort. To avoid the buildup of soap scum that can make cleaning tubs and bathroom fixtures difficult, keep a can of foaming cleanser in each bathroom. Have each bather wipe the tub after each use. It does not take more than a few minutes and saves hard work later trying to cope with the build-up. For shower stalls, leave doors open after showering. This helps the stall dry more quickly and prevents mildew.- CARRY A MINICASSETTE PLAYER to dictate instead of writing yourself notes, making grocery lists, running errands, etc. It takes one-sixth of the time that it takes you to write it down, says Dr. Pallavi V. Rawtani of Cordova, Tenn., who has timed it.

- SHOPPING WITH CHILDREN is time-intensive and, for many, an unpleasant task. Trace paper patterns of clothing that already fits properly, and you can buy your child clothing without taking her along to the store. - Source: All-New Hints From Heloise: A Household Guide for the '90s (Perigee: $9.95).

- MANY GARDENERS use heavy bricks to anchor large sheets of plastic that pre-condition soil.

But if you're tired of lugging them to and fro between seasons, try this time shaver from Louise Harris of Whiteville, Tenn.: She uses a pair of pliers to cut a wire coat hanger three inches above the bottom curve. Then she discards the top and pushes the U-shaped bottom through the plastic into the soil.

It works - and is less work.

- "WHEN I AM PUT ON HOLD while making a phone call, I update my `things to do today' list which I keep next to my appointment calendar and telephone.

"I find that keeping such a list, which is coordinated with my calendar, helps me save time during the workday by better organizing and prioritizing my activities," writes Susan Sowell, public relations manager for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

"Updating my list while on hold also makes me feel a bit more productive" while waiting for the phone call to be put through.