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Getting Up

·699 words·4 mins·

Getting up and walking around and doing things is good for you.

I bought an Apple Watch several months ago. It’s my first smart watch and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I did my research. I didn’t just buy it, and obviously I didn’t jump onto the bandwagon immediately after they first started coming out. It took years. I thought that it would be sort of useless for me to get one. The fact is that this is the first time I’ve been wearing a watch since around 1996. Back then, I went to Santa Cruz to be with my girlfriend for the summer and she forcibly removed my watch because I was obsessive about checking the time, all the time, and following a certain agenda in my head. Since then, I hadn’t worn a watch - until now. 2022.

That’s a very long time.

Like most people, I just checked my phone for the time. I thought, I didn’t need a watch after all.

But then I started wanting to work out and the idea hit me that to encourage myself and plan accordingly, a watch would help me. It would track my daily exercise (which it does very well), as well as monitor my sleep patterns. You see, I’ve been suffering for a bit of insomnia in the last year or so. This was unusual in the fact that I was always the guy who could fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anywhere, anytime. So I wanted to see what was up with my sleeping cycles as well.

So I got the watch after carefully researching my options (I really took months here). I went researching sleep apps as well (I use Sleep Cycle). I subscribed for a year and it really was worth it. I’ve been tracking my sleep patterns every night. I went researching which app was best for this and found a guy online who is an actual sleep scientist in a lab who tests all of these apps and then gave his recommendation for the best one which mimics the equipment they use in an actual scientific lab for sleep research. He recommended Sleep Cycle, so I chose that.

But the one thing I didn’t realise about my watch was this: It reminds me every hour to get up and walk around for a minute. And, as it turns out, that’s a good thing. You see, I get drawn into the screen like nothing else. I can sit there without moving for five or six hours and not even realize that the time has gone by. With my watch on, it not only dings a reminder, it taps my wrist - a bit hard to ignore that. Get up and walk around for a minute.

So, I’ve started doing that. And then I started doing a bit more than that. With more task management about doing things instead of just doing things on the computer, I’ve started to get up intermittently to do things around the house. Cleaning up, putting things away, vacuuming, etc….

What I’ve found is that I actually am more productive on the computer with these breaks in between. What I’ve realised is that I’ve been doing it all wrong. That time mostly spent where I’d be doing things, I’ve been drawn into just staring at pages and pages without really absorbing anything. Part of it is social media or reading the news which, frankly, I can do in very short bursts now.

I know everyone has been told this, but I’ve found it to actually be true. For some reason, when I look at my daily log (which I’ve started keeping in a journal in Emacs), it has been getting more and more full of actual computer tasks as well as daily tasks now that I’ve been taking breaks to do things around the house. So it’s not just me imagining it since I have an actual log of everything I do every day.

I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on anything at all and, as a plus, my place is starting to get much nicer to live in.

It’s a good thing.