Apple's watchOS got an update this week, with a few interesting new tricks like shareable watch faces and a feature that can tell when you're washing your hands. There's also the ability to add multiple instances of the same app within complications on the display. That can be really useful when it comes to a variety of different productivity apps.
I happen to think that the Apple Watch is one of the most powerful productivity tools you can use. I've even shared some of those productivity tricks in the past, like how you can use it to set reminders, find your iPhone, or share your location via iMessage. Now, watchOS 7 includes at least one feature that I think is a game-changer in terms of productivity: Sleep tracking.
Now, I can hear you asking what a built-in sleep tracker has to do with productivity? We tend not to think about sleep as getting anything done, which is sort of what productivity is all about. Still, I'd argue the answer is... everything.
Earlier this year, I wrote about what I think are two of the most important things you should do every night to prepare to be productive the next day. One of those was to have an intentional routine for going to bed. Every night, start your routine at the same time and stick to it.
By doing so, you train your body that it's time for bed, and time to go to sleep. In fact, in a statement, Apple points out that "according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a bedtime routine helps the body prepare for sleep."
The watch face itself turns off, and it enters Do Not Disturb mode so that notifications won't wake you while you're sleeping.
When you wake up, the Apple Watch has a specific display, which highlights the current battery charge. Since the Apple Watch charges relatively quickly, most people can simply place the watch on its charger while they get ready for their day.
The updated watchOS will not only track your sleep patterns, but it will also make suggestions about when you should go to sleep and when you should wake up. It also has what Apple calls "Wind Down" mode to help you prepare yourself for bed. Even better, this applies to both your Watch and iPhone. Your iPhone will even suggest activities like playing a specific playlist, turning on an alarm, or even launching your preferred meditation app.
Now your Apple Watch can now help you be more prepared and productive when you start your day by helping you develop a routine the night before. Not only that, but there's also a side benefit: more sleep.