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Can A Smart Watch Help You Get Your Nights and Weekends Back?

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

No one will ever say on their deathbed,

“I wish I spent more time on my phone.”

Most of us can agree that we would all benefit from less time on our phones. The reasons vary - missing the shot our child made at their last game, eye strain, the distracting text we receive while driving, or the mindless scrolling that just took 30 minutes of our precious time. Regardless of the reasons to use our phones less, we have room to improve.

A smart watch could be part of the solution. But how?


How Can Another Screen Reduce Our Phone Use?

Initially the idea of adding another device would appear to increase our mobile device use but that depends on how you leverage it. As much as many healthcare leaders and other professionals would like to put their phone away when they get home from work or while spending time with friends and family, the need to be available prevents us from putting it in the drawer. Even if that's not the case, most of us still prefer to be available to family and friends via text or a call. Here’s where a smart watch comes in.


Start With a Personal Inventory

Before diving in, let's take a quick inventory of your needs and goals on the topic.

  1. Identify your distractions - What apps are you finding yourself opening out of habit or "boredom"? Is it email, the news, your favorite social media site, 60 second video clips, or searching those questions that pop into your head every 2 minutes?

  2. Is it getting in the way? - If you can honestly say that you aren't distracted by your phone use while enjoying time with your family, out to dinner, or during an event, very well done! For the rest, it's probably a resounding yes.

  3. Decide what you need - Think about what you absolutely need from your phone. It's probably phone calls, text messages, and maybe email (We here at Elevatial would beg to differ on this one but that’s addressed in our article, "Why Leaders Should Remove Email from Their Phones").

  4. Commit to your decision - If you would like to reduce your phone use and are able to do without all the distracting apps on your phone, a smart watch is likely going to help.


Yes, This is Me! Now What?

After deciding which smart watch is best for your personality and phone brand, the watch will need to be set up and used in a way that actually limits your use.

Important! Follow these steps to ensure your success. Otherwise, you've just purchased another distracting device.

  1. Remove all apps - Of course keep the ones that you absolutely need (think phone and text messages) and remove the rest. This can be difficult. The smart watch has some great features - heart rate monitoring, news reminders, social media alerts, stock tickers, weather alerts, even games. If you aren’t careful this amazing watch can actually increase your screen time.

  2. Turn off alerts - Aside from texts and phone calls, you should turn off any remaining alerts. Aside from real emergencies, these alerts draw you away from whatever you are doing at the moment and telling your brain to focus on something else. You owe it to your family, friends, and your time to eliminate the unnecessary distractions.

  3. Take a minimalist approach - The screen alone can be a distraction. Since the watch is meant to reduce our use and minimize distractions, set up the watch to only show the time. Isn't the weather, your heart rate, or 8A meeting reminder helpful? Yes, AND they are the very distractions we are committed to avoiding.


Still Not Sure? Ask Yourself These Four Questions:

  1. Do I check my work email on my phone even though I’m not working?

  2. Do I find myself scrolling social media, watching random cute cat videos, or conducting random searches like “why doesn’t hair doesn’t grow on the bottom of my feet”?

  3. Do I wish I used my phone less?

  4. Do I sometimes get distracted by my phone while with family or friends?

If you answered yes to any of these, using a smart watch might be a great option for you.


Have a Smart Watch But Need Some Help?

If you can simply put your phone in a drawer and ignore it, do that and you’re all set. That being said, most of us need to be available to family, be available to our team, or respond to emergencies as is the case for many healthcare leaders and other professionals. We're here to help.

  • Convinced but looking for more information on how to reduce digital distractions in your life? Join our list and be the first to receive articles and helpful tools to support you on your path to live with more purpose.

  • Struggling to keep your resolution? We have an accountability program that keeps you motivated and reminds you better than any app can.

  • Need help setting up your smart watch? We've been here and can walk you through the process. Schedule a session here.


Let Us Know Your Thoughts

For those that aren't new to the idea of a smart watch, has yours been a help or a hinderance? The smart watch can be a great substitute for your phone. It can also be another distraction. Like anything great, it's all about how you use it.

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