How a smartwatch made me more productive

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More than just a timepiece

I've been an avid wearable tech fan for a long time now. More than a year ago I added an Android Wear smartwatch to my arsenal. With the pending release of Android Wear 2.0 and new watches from LG hitting the market, it seemed as good a time as any to recap why I have increased my productivity through my smartwatch. As a professional, I always have to be cognizant of my time and how I'm getting the most from everything I do. Constant interruptions and inefficiencies caused by having to pull out my phone to get access to information slows me down and breaks my focus. Learning to leverage the capabilities of my smartwatch coupled with designing strategies around maximizing it's benefit have taken my use of my smartwatch from lowly timepiece to valuable tool.

Notifications

This is the low hanging fruit of the smartwatch scene.  Almost all smartwatches (and in many cases health trackers) can receive notifications from your smartphone. While not having to pull out your phone every time you get a beep or a buzz is helpful, I've found that leveraging smart notifications with many apps takes this to a new level. For example, when I receive a notification for a Facebook message not only can I reply to the message (voice to text) but I can give a simple "thumbs up" or just swipe it away completely.  It doesn't sound like much, but when seconds count in focusing on the work at hand, it can make all the difference between losing your concentration and keeping it.

Email Management

Rather than pulling out my phone every time I get an email to check and see if I'm missing something important, I can glance at my watch, read the subject (and in some cases the body as well) and then archive the email, delete it, or just move on the to the next marking it as read.  This type of initial triage is exceptionally powerful in keeping my inbox in check.

Note to self

A core aspect of Android Wear is the "note to self" action. By just saying "Ok, Google. Note to Self..." I can record a new to do item in my Todoist list, a note in Google Keep, or a number of other applications. This immediate capture and processing is part of almost any effective productivity flow. If you're able to capture information and move on without worrying how much you trust your system, you're on your way towards being more productive.

Scratching the surface

This is just the highest level of things smartwatches can do to assist you in being productive. If you want to know more, leave a note in the comments or join us over at the Being Productive Facebook group to discuss how you can get more from your smartwatch.