The AppleWatch just came out and many of us are asking ourselves: is it worth it? Besides showing the time, it also allows us to see notifications, take calls, answer messages, check fotos, it's basically a small smartphone at your wrist.
Notifications are like sugar. People love a like, a share, a retweet, a mention, anything that resonates back from what they have thrown into the jar of the socialmedionster. Notifications free endorphins. It's like taking care of a giant dog that is mostly sleepy but if it wakes up and smiles at you, it pays off all the waiting. If you get a smart wearable, what's the great thing about it? You can double the sugar! You now can check your messages on your wrist without taking out the phone. It means notifications times two. But as you know too much sugar can be dangerous for your health.
The applewatch is part of the wearable flood, we are going to expect. Be it on your wrist, your head, your food, or your ears, wearables are going to cover our bodies for some time I expect. Just as notifications are increasingly covering our heads. So, we are right there in the tech mess that should actually ease our lives. Ask yourself honestly does all your tech ease your life?
Adapting to new technologies take time. Maybe some five years ago, we first held in our hands some smartphone powerhorses that were able to connect yourself with content without disturbingly long waiting times. Content just at the pal of your hands, just a grab in your trousers away or a quick look under the table while dinner. 130 years ago when the car arrived, there were three issues:
- People didn't know how to drive.
- The car hasn't been built with safety aspects in mind
- There haven't been any streets or infrastructure for the car.
We are still trying today to get these three things right today.
Now, regarding our use of the smartphone and its incoming peripheral devices, it's just the most normal thing to assume that a hundreds year from now our nephews will look at our obsessed smartphone usage with some weirdness as we look back at our ancestors driving bicycles with tires of differing sizes. The question indeed is: What are we doing wrong? What is it that we are missing right now and will be corrected a hundred years from now?
For starters, fom a productivity perspective, it makes no sense at all to use the smartphone for bigger pieces of work. You might guess what I am writing this blog post on: Yes, I am ashamed, it's a smartphone. I mean, if you have something impulsive to work on, a quick search on Google or a short answer to a message, it's often better to get the thing done right in the moment. However, high responsiveness is what exactly got us in our overkill cult of work. Finish things quickly, being responsive has not only become a skill but rather a requirement for every employee out there.
But why do we love to work on our smartphone, what's the reason we may write longer pieces on a smaller screen? Maybe, it's the relaxing position you can have at your sofa writing some lines. This way you may feel like increasing your creativity. Most probably, the reason is that it's a new device and we like new things better than old ones. Whatever it is, it's diminishing your productivity and your work is entering your social life at dinner, at the sofa, outside in the garden, playing with your child. It's always there...
So, what can you do? How can you get into the driving seat again?
1 Shut off your notifications for everything that is not messaging or phone call (i.e. of minor relevance).
I'll promise you, you will get back some silence and peace. I mean, you can obviously check your facebook and twitter and Pinterest and blog and so on, but try to keep your phone until then silent.
2 Unsubscribe from all ad mails now.
I am sure you know that every newsletter mail has an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Your mail account should be free for work. Some would even go as far as to delete the mail app on your phone.
3 Don't look on the phone or your wrist when you are talking with someone.
There has been a study that has shown that fights are significantly caused because people look down on their phone. If you think that looking on your watch will be more polite, you are wrong. It may even be worse since it signals you have no time.
4 Smart devices need smart people.
And, on top, if you buy a smartwatch (like myself), expect from it not to make you smart, but expect from you to use it smart. Don't buy it for the extra sugar. Use it smart to increase your productivity and ease your life. I'll keep you informed about my experience with the new device, until then: Brace yourself! Wearable is coming!