You think you have a pen on you but you really don’t, or you’ve absentmindedly left it at your last meeting.
This used to bug me, however it doesn’t anymore, and hasn’t for the last 5 years.
So what did I do?
Simple I created two rules.
Rule #1: I am only allowed to write with a Blue Bic Pen.
Rule#2: I am only allowed one pen per quarter. When it runs out of ink, I break it in half, throw it out (so I don’t pick up a pen that doesn’t work).
I picked up a box of blue bic pens (and do so every couple of years now). In 5 years I’ve lost my pen twice (first time as I was quite sick and second time travelling).
Once you put the constraint that you only have one pen, if you loan a pen you expect it back, also if you pick up another kind of pen you realise immediately (hey this isn’t my pen) so put it down.
Also you actually keep a track of your one pen (ideally keeping on you most of the time).
That’s how I stopped losing Pens. Slightly irrelevant but a nice little life hack.