I’ve had the hardest time explaining to people why I love my Apple Watch. Before I got it as a soon-to-be father gift from my wife last week, I was a skeptic. I just felt like the Apple Watch was an extra device I didn’t need. That all changed when I first put it on my wrist- it’s had a subtle but profound impact on how I manage my time and my mental outlook.
Apple Watch has been revolutionary, but not in any of the ways that other Apple products have been in the past. The laptop let us take our computer anywhere. The iPhone shrunk it down to a handheld device, and baked in always-on connectivity. The iPad converted so much of what we did with paper (reading, sheet music, drawing, etc) to a screen that we could touch. So where does the Apple Watch fit in?
I think the Apple Watch breaks new ground in two broad categories: gathering data and encouraging focus.
While the Apple Watch is in its infancy when it comes to the amount of data it can collect, it’s still incredibly useful for monitoring my health. It can tell how much I’ve worked out, how far I’ve run, what my heart rate has been like throughout the day (including during workouts), and even my sleep quality. This data shows up in a handy icon on my watch face, and syncs with several fitness apps I use to determine how many calories I’ve burned and adjust my totals daily. I’ve lost 8 pounds since I first put this thing my wrist 3 weeks ago. It shouldn’t just be limited to health, either: I’m already experimenting with data collection during practices, and even sleeping.
While health is huge, Apple Watch’s biggest benefit to me has been how it encourages me to focus on what’s important. Before you roll your eyes at my Apple-fanboy rant, hear me out.
When you first set up your Apple Watch, you’re prompted to design what you want on your main watch face. On the Modular view, there are 5 areas that you can set to display various pieces of information, from a world clock to a calorie total. I chose to put in my current calendar event, temp outside, calorie total, and activity tracker.
Every time I look at my Apple Watch I see these 5 bits of info, which makes me conscious of how I’m doing in each area. It’s been amazing to me how my natural OCD tendencies have motivated me to complete each total, and stay motivated throughout the work day. In the last 3 weeks, I haven’t missed a single day of working out, tracked every single calorie I’ve eaten, and been more productive then I can ever remember being before.
Most importantly, I created a second watch face that has only my calorie count, temp and activity tracker for when I’m not working. Every time I hang out with my wife or friends, I switch to this watch face. It sounds stupid, but it’s amazing how making a clear switch from work mode to non-work mode has helped me to be more engaged and mentally table the cares of the work day until tomorrow.
Apple Watch is a great filter, too. I’ve set all social media notifications to not be pushed to my watch, creating a “social media free” zone I can go into when I’m needing to focus intensely but don’t want to put my phone away all together because of business calls/texts. Apple Watch’s limited abilities and screen size actually helps me keep from browsing the internet and social media throughout the day.
So is it worth it? For me, absolutely. My personality type has resonated with this product so much, and it’s encouraged a lot of great character traits. Does it make sense for you? Maybe not. But don’t write off this amazing little computer that sits on your wrist until you try it.