Since the release of the Apple Watch, there’s been a lot of debate about its potential to revolutionize the way we work and numerous hacks on how to use Apple Watch to increase productivity have come up as a consequence.
Some people say it will allow us to streamline our workflow and control how we consume information, while some believe that it will open a Pandora’s box of digital distraction. The ultimate question, however, is how the watch can help us get more meaningful work done.
Is Apple Watch the Answer?
The Apple Watch doesn’t have any particular app that could act as a silver bullet for your productivity. But what it does have are some unique features that, when used properly, can help you build daily habits to improve how you work.
These include its haptic reminders, its immediacy of action and feedback, and its limited functionality. (Yes, you read that right. Limited functionality = Less time spent sifting through internet junk.)
Here’s how to use your Apple Watch to the max to make consistent, positive changes in your daily routine:
Evidence suggests that just a good 20 minutes of moving around will boost your mood and productivity. The only problem with this is that we’re finding it harder and harder to fit those 20 minutes into our daily routine. That’s where the Apple Watch’s haptic reminders come in.
The native Activity App automatically tracks your movement in the background. You can set it up so that it reminds you when you’re falling short on your physical activity goals for the day. Speaking for myself, I was genuinely surprised at how effective my watch was in getting me off my butt, even if it was for a short brisk walk or just getting me to stand through its hourly reminders while I worked.
Taking Regular Breaks
I have a serious problem with taking breaks, and the issue lies in that I just… don’t. I’m sure most of us struggle to step away from our desks regularly. The problem with that is the human brain wasn’t meant to focus on tasks for hours on end. We may start out strong, but we inevitably become more susceptible to distractions as the day wears on. And studies actually show that taking regular breaks improves our focus and performance.
So, what do we do? Take more breaks, of course. Your Apple Watch can help with that.
If I had to pick one habit that the Apple Watch helped me form quickly, it would be taking breaks. The haptic reminders come into play here as well. Apart from tracking your exercise goals, the native Activity App can also keep tabs on how long it’s been since you last moved. I set my reminder every 25 minutes per the Pomodoro technique, but you can customize it any way you want.
Keeping a To-Do List
Yes, managing tasks from our iPhone is already awfully convenient. The only problem is that our phones are constantly bombarded with wonderful distractions from the internet, and it’s difficult not to give into them. But if our phones aren’t right next to us, we end up missing important reminders.
The watch fixes both these problems. Instead of having to check my phone constantly, I can just set my tasks according to the day and time I want to start working on it. Then the reminders come to me as and when I need to work on them, making sure I never miss an important task.
Another thing I love about the watch is its quick add feature that allows users to add tasks as they come. The fact that I can now make an immediate plan to deal with a later task helps me focus better on whatever I’m working on at the moment.
Is the Apple Watch distracting? Well, it certainly can be. But if you configure your notifications to let only the essential notifications through, you’ll spend less time checking your phone and more time knocking out one task after the other. This is where the limited capabilities of the watch come in handy. No one wants to keep their arm raised for long periods, so it works out well by making it difficult to get distracted with other things.
While there’s no substitute for a complete absence of notifications, you can always turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ when you really need to focus. Just to be clear, no Apple Watch productivity apps are going to help you perfectly follow your new habits right from the start. It takes time and patience to build habits, no matter what tools you use to help you along. Like Apple says, the Apple Watch is their most personal product yet. In the end, it’s up to you how you personalise it according to your daily routines and workflow.