Productivity: The One Pen Challenge

April 21, 2009

A few weeks ago at our Coffee Social, a friend needed to write something down. Paper is everywhere in our house, so that was easy to come by. He naturally reached over and grabbed my fountain pen, which was sitting on the table beside him. I (too) quickly snatched my pen back and then gently explained that the nib of a fountain pen is a very personal thing, blah blah blah. We then confonded our guests and caused a bit of a stir when we had trouble locating another writing device. Eventually we resolved the problem by borrowing a marker or crayon from Ruby.

This brought to light a startling (even to us) realization. We each (Victoria and I) only have a single pen. Victoria also has a matching pencil, but that’s it. The ubiquitous pen drawer that seems to exist in every household does not exist in ours. What’s stranger, we never intentionally created this rule. This is how it happened…

Just before Ruby was born Victoria bought me a marvelous pen. As time went by I realized that I always had this pen with me, or knew just where it was. Its special enough that I never let anyone else use it, and therefore, it never moved around on me. As time went by (I realized in retrospect) the need for backup implements faded. A year later I returned the favor.

What we have discovered, since the Coffee Social, is that one pen is really all you need. So I put this to you, consider purchasing a fine writing instrument (or fine enough to not get lost all the time). Keep it close for 21 days (that’s apparently how long it takes to build a habit). Then try putting all of your other writing implements in a very inconvenient place. Report back.

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