I'm a big fan of my Apple Watch. I don't even have the most recent version, I'm still wearing a Series 4, but I still feel like it's one of the best pieces of technology I've ever owned. I actually didn't think that would be the case until I bought one and started wearing it every day. In fact, I find that it's probably my most useful productivity tool, especially as someone who works remotely.
Let me explain:
I love my iPhone, I really do. It's one of the best productivity and communication tools ever. It's also great for a million other things, which is actually the problem. The Apple Watch, on the other hand (wrist?), is the most personal and yet least disruptive.
There are three things that my Apple Watch does to help me be more productive, and they aren't complicated at all.
Like I said, the iPhone is great for staying in touch, and notifications are a big part of that. The problem is that when I pick up my iPhone to look at a notification, inevitably, there are a bunch of other distractions that take me away from whatever I'm working on. "Look, I just got an email that Amazon has my package out for delivery, that's cool," I might think to myself. Or, maybe, "I'll just see if anything happened on Twitter."
Two hours later....
You can probably relate.
In reality, however, there are only a few things I need to be notified of, and with my Apple Watch, I only get those notifications. I set up Slack notifications for the Channels and DMs that I actually need to pay attention to. Now I don't even open it on my MacBook Pro unless I need to respond to something important.
The same is true for text messages. Honestly, during the day, I only want text messages that require my urgent attention, so I shut off notifications for everything else.
2. Time Management
I like to think of this as "chunking" my time. I break my day into a series of "chunks," each of which is meant for tackling a specific task or series of similar tasks. I have a chunk in the morning for writing, for example.
Using my Apple Watch, I can set a timer so that I don't even have to be looking at the clock. My watch simply taps my wrist to let me know it's time to take a little break, drink some water, or move on to the next task. By the way, the "Stand Up" notification is great for someone like myself who sits at a desk all day. It even gives enough of a mental break in between tasks that I can stand up, walk around, clear my mind, and be ready for whatever is next.
Apple's voice assistant isn't perfect. There are plenty of areas it falls short, like activating every time I try to talk to my daughter (whose name is not Siri, by the way). Still, there is one area Siri where excels, and it may be the best thing about my Apple Watch. That would be the integration with Reminders.
I've said before that the Siri+Reminders combination is the single best thing on my iPhone as well. It's true. But with my Apple Watch, I can get the best thing about my iPhone without actually needing to use it. I can simply say "Siri, remind me this afternoon to email my editor," and she'll set a reminder for me.
Or, even better, I can say "Hey Siri, remind me to ask about how the meeting went when I get to the office." Granted, not many of us are getting to the office much right now, but Siri will set your reminder for when you arrive at that location.
Siri will also do a few other really helpful things, like "Hey, Siri, send Beth a message that I'm running late." And, of course, I also use Siri for those timers I set to manage chunks of time. "Hey, Siri, set a timer for 35 minutes." That's the perfect amount of time to get one more thing done. Now that's what I call productive.