I’m getting an Apple Watch on day one, if it can be done. Now that there is an Apple press event scheduled for March 9, when presumably they’ll reveal pricing, I’m going to start saving up. The watch will be released in April.
I hear people say that they don’t understand what the watch is for, or more specifically, why they should want one. If you have to think really hard about why you should get one, then you’re wasting your time. Don’t buy the watch. But if you have quickly identified some reasons one would be beneficial in your life, then by all means, you probably would reap enough benefits that the watch is well worth the cost.
In my case, as an independent graphic designer, every second of my day counts. The few minutes I have to leave my desk to get a cup of coffee, check the mailbox, and let the dog outside are the breaks that I begrudge taking. If I’m not designing, I’m not effective. Every action that I take on break counts against my productivity.
And what’s more distracting than the allure of notifications, new messages, and social feeds? The phone in my pocket is one of the sure-fire ways I kill time on my breaks. It seems to help as an input in the moment, but in hindsight, time spent on the phone is slowing me down.
If I pull the phone from my pocket as I walk upstairs to take that coffee break, I’m walking slower. When I get to the door to let the dog out, I want to finish reading a tweet before I turn my attention to the padlock. When I step into the kitchen and grab the water kettle, I’ve put the phone down on the counter and need to return to it. My attention is constantly divided. Then, am I looking at the phone while I walk to the mailbox? Or while I’m queueing a podcast to listen to while I reload the washer and dryer? Yes, I am, and I know that these are little wastes of time I will shave down with Apple’s watch.
Consider that I’m looking down at my phone several times over the course of 15 minutes every time I stand up from my desk — whether I’m on break or not. I pull the phone out of pocket to check to see if there are any notifications. I look for the lock screen ones at first, but also check some social networks in case the notifications didn’t make it through background updates. All day long, the phone is serving me information but not fast enough. Is the phone outdated? No, but it slows me down because it’s stealing my focus. During every action that I take, I’m wondering what that last vibrate in my pocket was for.
This is where the watch comes in for me. Rather than pulling out a phone, Touch-ID-ing the thing, then waiting for Tweetbot to load, double-tapping to go to the top, tapping for direct messages… I’ll see anything I need to see on the watch at a twist of the wrist.
Walking upstairs, I’ll grab my bluetooth headphones and start a podcast. If I need to fiddle with the playback, or what show should start, I’ll punch that in from my wrist. That will sidestep Touch ID, and will limit me to the most essential actions that I can take with the device(s) so I can focus better on my work, chores, and getting things done.
Need to start a timer for the oatmeal in the morning? On my wrist. Need to keep on top of incoming messages from the clients I’m serving today? All I’ve got to do is look out for their notifications on my wrist, and I can turn off Notification Center alerts on my iPhone and Mac. I’m embracing the modern Dick Tracey lifestyle.
Most of what I’ve described concerns notifications management, but there are timers, the quick chats with Siri (maybe), and the movie showtimes that will be handy on the watch. Considering that I usually have a watch on my wrist that only tells me the time, the Apple Watch will be a colossal upgrade.