I decided to give up on the Apple Watch for a month at the start of the month, and today is the last day, and I wanted to reflect on what I learned and write them down for my future self.
TL.DR➖ I definitely do miss my apple watch, but not enough that I plan to keep buying the subsequent versions as and when it launches.
I’ve worn it so long on my wrist I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it on me. I bought the Apple Watch first-gen and ever since had one on my person, so roughly close to 6 years. It’d be such a long time that I could use a break for a few days, that is when I realised, instead of few days, let me make it a month and understand what I enjoyed and what I didn’t about going Watch free for a month.
The first few days were a little odd, and I missed the Watch a bit more than I had expected; I didn’t expect that I relied on the apple watch so much for so many things daily. I used it to keep tabs on my time, especially when I was in the kitchen trying to cook or juggling time-sensitive tasks due to work timings. So having a timepiece on myself was very useful, so even if I don’t need an apple watch, I definitely need a Watch on me to stay on top of time. The mornings are always the rush, but once I am off my work, the lack of knowing time is kinda liberating. So I’ve mixed feelings here, but given how much of life revolves around work and punctuality is essential, I will need a Watch for myself.
Not trying to stand up every hour to complete the stand goal was a relief. While the stand goals are reasonable from a healthy perspective, it is more interruption than anything. I would instead prioritise the activity goal than just the stand goal. I pride myself on completing all the 3 goals/rings that I have set for myself. So it’s really going to be hard for me not to achieve this when I get to wear the Watch again tomorrow. I think my compulsiveness to meet would win with this battle of giving up on apple rings even if I feel interrupted during focused work. I may even disable the goals, but I doubt I will stick to them.
Notifications are the Boon and the Bane of all the smart devices, and Apple Watch is no different. I definitely missed them during my drives in the car. A quick glance on the Watch is always better than pulling the phone out, especially when your hands are right there on the steering wheel. I definitely like that not having them during work helped me stay focused on my work with lesser distractions. While I definitely feel there wasn’t a lot of context switching during the work hours without the Watch on me, I definitely did get some anxiety on some notifications, i.e. food delivery notifications which I didn’t want to miss during work hours. There was some random checking of the phone to check if I missed any of them on some days. So what I want to do here when I get back to the Watch is to review the notifications and tune them just enough to reduce the anxiety while maximising distraction-free time, especially during work hours.
I didn’t do any run workouts this entire month, nor were there any plans for running or tracking workouts, so I didn’t miss any apps in any fashion. Had I been running, this no watch month would have been impossible, to begin with.
If you know me, you know I try to track everything. Sleep is one among those that I track, and not having the apple watch was kind of a let down in this space. I used to track sleep on my Watch even before Apple released its own version of sleep tracking. I liked that my morning alarms were just a wrist buzz. Even though I have a pleasant tone to wake up to, I find it jarring to wake up to an alarm and tapping the wrist to disable the vibrations on the Watch was a lot easier. I really look forward to waking up to the tapping of the Watch starting tomorrow.
In all, it was a fun experiment to learn a few things about my likes and dislikes with the Watch. 30-day hiatus helped me understand what I used my Watch for and what could be improved for the years to come. Trying these 30-day experiments is also fun, and I would like to try some more such experiments. If you tried something similar and enjoyed it or hated it, please let me know in the comments. If you have any ideas for such experiments, do share them with me.