Jm Dieroff takes his travel alarm clock with him wherever he goes--even if it's just to a nearby meeting. Dieroff is president of Connaissance Corp., in Fort Collins, Colo., a $2 million consulting, continuing-education and product-marketing business aimed at serving dental professionals. He originally bought the clock just for travel, but now he carries it everywhere he goes--to the office, to client locations and on errands.

He finds that the small clock is especially useful at corporate meetings. "I just set the clock in front of me on the conference table," Dieroff says. When the rest of the meeting participants see the clock, they understand that Dieroff is serious about schedules and won't waste anybody's time. Also, Dieroff explains, a nonchalant glance at a watch during a meeting can seem rude and inappropriate. "This way, I never get in trouble for looking at my watch."