I'm my own worst enemy. I know it. I've spent too much time looking at my e-mail and conversing on Slack and not nearly enough time evaluating my workflow and finding ways to focus more on productivity.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been testing the Apple Watch Series 4 to see how it would fit into my work life. Over that period, I've worn it all day, every day and connected it to my Apple account, so all of my messages, e-mails, and other content is readily accessible from my wrist. Even in meetings, when I normally don't bring a phone along, my Apple Watch is sitting on my wrist fielding all of my inquiries.
And I can tell you now unequivocally that Apple Watch has fundamentally made me productive.
You might be wondering how a simple device on the wrist could change my productivity level so quickly. After all, having such easy access to my text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and Slack messages in times when I don't have my phone handy might, at first blush, appear to put a damper on productivity.
A Productivity Surprise
The fact, however, is that a quick glance at my Apple Watch is much better than picking up my phone or sifting through windows on my computer. It's too easy to get distracted there. On my Apple Watch, I check out what I want to see and go about my day.
One of the reasons I didn't buy an Apple Watch all these years was because it didn't seem to make sense. Why would I need a device sitting on my wrist that could tell me everything I can already get from the iPhone I have with me wherever I go? I had the big, sophisticated device. Why would I want the streamlined alternative?
But then I slapped the Apple Watch Series 4 on my wrist and I immediately realized what I missed: the stripped-down Apple Watch interface is actually ideal for boosting productivity.
Too often, technology today is about throwing more information at you in each menu. But that only serves to distract you. How many times have you been in your e-mail or Slack, only to find yourself checking out other messages, sifting through other channels, and losing minutes to stuff that doesn't really matter? And in a world where smartphone screens are only getting larger, the amount of content companies can stuff into each menu will only grow.
Simplicity Reigns Supreme
But with a small screen that can only live on your wrist, Apple and third-party developers are limited in the space they can stuff information into. That forces Apple and other developers to get more creative in what they display. They ditch all of the extra stuff and just show the content you care about. And by doing that, I found myself less distracted and more on task.
I haven't put a figure to the amount of time I'm saving with my Apple Watch, but I did see how my habits have changed in Apple's Screen Time app on the iPhone. My overall phone usage has dropped 14 percent in the last week, alone. And the number of pickups -- a measure of how many times I pick up my phone per day, is down.
Both of those measures mean I'm still getting all of my important notifications, but I'm cutting down on the distractions by using Apple Watch. And it shows -- I've been able to get more done in less time. And best of all, I feel clearer about what I need to do without getting pushed to another task so easily.
So far, then, Apple Watch has served me well. I have some minior gripes -- the design could use a little refreshing and there are some software quirks to contend with from time to time -- but overall, it's a winner. And if you're looking for a new way to be more productive at work, opting for an Apple Watch might make some sense.