Office Thieves

thieves

I am not talking about actual thieves, but time thieves. They are harmless items, common office accessories that frequently “steal” time.

Paperclips.  How many times have you searched for a document only to (maybe) find it trapped beneath mul­tiple sheets of paper by a paperclip?  Use staples when possible. They can always be removed later.

Pencil cup.  It’s so convenient to have pens and pencils at your finger­tips.  But who needs fifteen? or fifty?  How many of them no longer write?  Keep a few spares in your desk drawer instead.

Notepads   Everyone has note pads.  They come in handy.  But they also encourage note-taking on small pieces of paper, which become lost in the “shuffle”.  Use a to-do list or your planning calendar to take notes.

I am talking time thieves. Those harmless items, common office accessories that frequently steal time. Click To Tweet

Take a look around your office and see if you have any time thieves. They could be unused electronics crowding your desk, old post-it notes covering the edge of your monitor, or broken office equipment. Perhaps they have taken another form. Look for them because they are there. Wasted minutes add up to squandered hours. Would you like more time in your schedule?

 

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Home: You know what a difference the Time Timer makes in the classroom, but what about at home? Discover the power of the award-winning Time Timer to transform never-ending meals, stressful transition periods, and resistance to routines.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

12 Comments

  1. Diane N Quintana on May 23, 2022 at 8:24 am

    I have never thought about my pen/pencil cup as a time thief but I get it. You waste time by checking to see if the pencil is sharpened or if the pen works. I love the time timer. These devices help children and adults develop a better sense of the passage of time.

  2. Seana Turner on May 23, 2022 at 9:39 am

    The biggest snag to me in my “office” is the printer, which so frequently goes offline, needs ink, jams, or otherwise fails. It is what I call “needy.” Fortunately, I don’t need to use it as much as I used to, so the grief is less frequent.

    Don’t get me started on notepads. How often do we find drawers full of these – especially the “freebies” – in client offices? I get it, we hate to waste. I keep them too! But maybe keep them remotely, or donate a few.

    • Janet Schiesl on May 24, 2022 at 10:13 am

      “Needy printer!” Hahaha Note pads certainly can accumulate!

  3. Jonda Beattie on May 23, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Wow! I’m with Seanna in that right now my printer is my biggest time thief. It needs replacing but I hate to take the time to do that as well. I don’t use a pen cup as I prefer to have just 2 pens out on my desk lying beside my landline phone.

    • Janet Schiesl on May 24, 2022 at 10:10 am

      We can only write using one pen at a time. Love that you only have two on your desk!

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on May 23, 2022 at 10:30 am

    I loved that you mentioned paper clips. I used to use a lot of paper clips, and now, I don’t. It is easy enough to staple them instead.

  5. Linda Samuels on May 23, 2022 at 11:17 am

    This is such an interesting take on ‘time thieves.” I never consider my office supplies as time blockers, but based on this new context that you describe them, I can see how it might be the case. I like paper clips, but often prefer binder clips instead because they are more secure and don’t attach to unwanted papers as regular paper clips can. I’m with you about pencil cups in that it can be frustrating to have pens that don’t work. I love my pencil/pen cups and will quickly release any pens that aren’t working. As far as post-it notes, I LOVE those! They are useful for quick ideas or thoughts, but aren’t the end-all, be-all system for how I track tasks. And the Time Timer? What’s NOT to love. It’s a wonderful way to truly “feel” time passing and visualize it in a real way.

  6. Julie Bestry on May 23, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    Oh, this really resonates with me, especially when I try to reduce the number of things on my clients’ desks — especially if they have ADHD. The power of distractibility in these items is immense. I only keep what I use daily — full-size purple legal pads, my calculator, keyboard, and mouse — on the near part of my desk. My planner is on the far side, out of the way until I need it, and I don’t keep a passel of pens. I only use one brand of pen (my beloved Pentel Energels) and buy a box of 12 every year or so. One stays in the loop of my planner; the other stays on top of the legal pad. I have one pencil (for when I balance my mother’s checkbook) and one highlighter on my computer riser (but off my desk). Extra stuff is absolutely a time thief, and I just finished recording a podcast where the interviewer read my bio, including where I said I hate paper clips!!!

    And I share your love of TimeTimer. Colorful, unobtrusive, effective.

    • Janet Schiesl on May 24, 2022 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Julie. Glad it resonated with you.

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