Actually - it’s about time, attention and energy. You see, those three are the fundamentals behind human behaviour, productivity and happiness. All of the time and energy in the world isn’t going to help you achieve anything unless you’re focused, and time and attention alone are no good when you feel exhausted.
The Apple Watch is a unique device in 2020. You see, whilst most of us have a love-hate relationship with our phones or our computers, I love my Apple Watch. I love Steve Job’s original metaphor for the computer - a ‘bicycle for the mind’. Despite being someone who grew up loving technology, I have recently become more skeptical and critical of its impact on our world. From Instagram’s impact on our mental health to our ever diminishing ability to hold a face-to-face conversation with a loved on without them checking their phone.
The Apple Watch is the one device that I don’t ever feel guilty about spending too much time on, or feel like it’s distracting me from my true intentions and priorities in life. It’s the interaction of technology and humanity at its best. It helps me be a better…. me.
I’m not going to write yet timeless trope/cliche yet absolute truth about how our time here is limited.
We seem to more attuned and inherently *get* the importance of managing our money, but I don’t think most of guard our time with quite as much vigor.
Fundamentally the watch helps you tell the time. So you won’t be late for your job. So you won’t get fired.
But it can also do more. It can remind you to pick up milk when you’re next near your local supermarket, so you don’t forget, and then don’t waste time when you remember and need to drive back. It can alert you of the traffic on your morning commute, so you don’t get late to your work - So you won’t get fired. It can remind you 8 days before your neice’s birthday, so you have time to pick her a present that makes her smile - So you won't get fired.
I think everyone now recognises the incredible extent to which our screens can capture, and hijack our attention. We start with a noble intention of adding something to our to-do list, but then we see how that person we really like actually retweeted/liked our status/post/tweet/fleet and 30 minutes later we’re left wondering where the time went and why did we check our phone anyways? That’s if we are lucky. The average person unlocks his phone apparently every 2.3 seconds… or was it 1.3 seconds?
All this is to say I think most of us are now aware of how much of a time sucking black hole our phones have become. And that’s a problem. Every minute or every hour we are watching/swiping/re-tweet yet another algorithmically selected piece of content is every minute or hour that we aren’t spending with our kids, our parents, our friends or even with ourselves.
And really, time is the only thing that ultimately matters. The Apple Watch makes me use my iPhone less. Maybe this is a problem that only I have, and maybe it’s just me who can’t stay away from my phone. Regardless, I really appreciate a device that gives me back my attention.
Through the years I have learnt that how much energy we have really comes down to three factors:
If exercise was a pill, it would be the most valuable drug on the market. There are near on countless studies out there that affirm how it improve everything from mental health to longevity. You know that, and I am not here to beat the same drum. I’m not going to be that guy who tells you how you need to do 15 minutes of yoga, “breathe” in between coffees and then do a 105 minute Rock-style workout.
I’m very much more of a ‘really little changes, repeated often’ kind of guy. Behaviour change is hard. Really hard. Our habits are forged through years of unconscious, automatic actions.
Where the Apple Watch excels is helping me take small steps every day which then nudge me into making better actions and decisions for my health. Yes, even those annoying ‘stand now’ notifications.
Health is where I see Apple Watch having perhaps the biggest impact long term.
What’s this editorial/newsletter about?
Hey you, yes you - thank you for reading this. I really appreciate it. Your attention is valuable, and I am genuinely a little honoured that you chose to read this.
This is like a book, but the chapter titles are already written. Each of the next 12 instalments of this newsletter will detail how the Apple Watch helps me do those things. I will go into the specifics - the apps, actions, and routines.
My Apple Watch makes me happier, calmer and more productive. I’d like to share how I use it to:
Get things done every day with a simple GTD (Getting Things Done) system
Connect with my friends and family
Look after my mental health
Build muscle after years of being the ’skinny kid’
Organise my day and ensure I don’t forget important tasks
Note my random thoughts and ideas through the day
Listen to podcasts that entertain me through the chores of the day
Take a break from technology
Keep my online identity and passwords secure
Track and build better habits
Ultimately, I would like to make the case for why the Apple Watch is the greatest behavioural change device ever made. If you’re interested in reading a deep dive into this, please subscribe below. I promise I value your attention, and I will send you ad-free in-depth editorials.
I’d love for this to have a community feel. So please leave a comment below or reply to this, and tell me how you use your Apple Watch. Please tell me what you would like to read about. I’ll be really happy to read it and write more.
Next post in the instalment: The Ultimate Guide to Sleep Tracking with Apple Watch | The Why and the How