How My Apple Watch Made Me More Productive

podcast Dec 28, 2018

In September 2018, I purchased my first Apple Watch (a GPS, cellular version), because I wanted another cool Apple gadget.

Did I really need one?

Nope.

But little did I know then...but it changed my life for the better. In ways I could not have imagined.

Why is an Apple Watch so awesome?

Perhaps you're not familiar with what the draw of the Apple Watch is.

That's okay. Let me explain.

The Apple Watch was created for health reasons. It can track many health metrics about the user (with more being added with every new version).

Additionally, you can track your exercises like runs, walks, biking, swimming, and more.

In fact, it comes with three rings: move, exercise, and stand. This is how Apple explains these rings:

  • Move - Close your Move ring by hitting your personal goal of active calories burned. Apple Watch tracks the active calories you burn. Active calories are the ones you burn through all kinds of movement, from taking the stairs at work to playing with the kids to cleaning out the garage. Being active throughout the day is an important part of living a healthy life.
  • Exercise - Close your Exercise ring by completing at least 30 minutes of activity at or above a brisk walk. The Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, whether you’re just moving at a fast pace or doing a specific workout in the Workout app. All at once or a little at a time, you can earn Exercise minutes however it works for you.
  • Stand - Close your Stand ring by getting up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day. Sitting too much can contribute to health problems. That’s why Apple Watch tracks your progress toward your Stand goal and motivates you to get up throughout the day. Being less sedentary can lead to lower blood pressure, increased energy, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

So, the next time your Apple Watch-wearing friend says they closed their rings...now you know.

But how does my Apple Watch make me more productive?

As powerful as the Watch is, there are many things you can't do on it. It's because of this that my Watch makes me more productive.

For example, here's a few things that are possible to do on it:

  • make phone calls (if you have the cellular version, you can make calls when you're away from your iPhone; if you have the GPS version, you can make calls but you have to be within range of your iPhone)
  • send/receive text, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, and other messages. However, it's much easier to read and reply with an emoji/quick reply than a full-text message (which I'll pull out my iPhone to do). Yes, it is possible to speak to text a reply like you can on the iPhone, but...no privacy here.
  • check the weather
  • get directions (I prefer Apple Maps)
  • check your calendar
  • set a timer
  • monitor your sleep (I personally use AutoSleep, iOS/Apple Watch only)
  • track your water intake (I love WaterMinder)

But there are two critical things you can't do which is part of the reasons wearing my Apple Watch makes me more productive:

  • checking social media 
  • surfing the Internet

And while it is possible to read/send emails from the Watch, I find this very tedious so after trying it once or twice, I stopped doing so. If I want to check email, I do so on my iPhone.

And then there's "weird" thing

Are you old enough to remember when there were no smartphones (or Internet!)? When your phone was hard-wired to the wall of your house (yes, before cordless phones!)?

I do (I was born in 1965).

Now, it seems we "can't" (cough cough...choose not to) go anywhere without our cell phones.

Well, recently, I read Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (affiliate link). And in that book, he suggests we leave our phones at home as often as we can.

Let's face it. If you're going to the store or someplace you're familiar with, do you need your cell phone? Can you manage without it?

The answer is most likely yes. So, next time you have to run out quickly, try it. You may like it.

My wife and I have done from time to time and it's so freeing.

Yes, we bring our Series 5 cellular Apple Watches with us, but like I pointed out above, there's only so much you can do on the Watch.

And that's how it's made me more productive: by allowing me to do LESS!

Your turn

Do you own a smartwatch? 

Has it made you more or less productive?

Let me know in the comments.

Click here to take the productivity quiz and see how productive you really are.

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