Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why I Don't Want an Apple Watch (and it's not the battery life)

Being connected is a sure way to destroy productivity.


The reason I don't want an Apple Watch has nothng to do with its look, functionality, price or battery life. The reason I have no interest in an Apple Watch (or any of its competitors) is I can't afford to be connected to a device that destroys my productivity with an endless stream of chirps, beeps, buzzes or vibrations every time an email, tweet, text, etc. arrives.

Stated very simply: the Apple Watch, like every other enslaving you to the network device, is a productivity destroyer.

A number of readers sent me this article on the luxury status of quietude: The Cost of Paying Attention: Silence is now offered as a luxury good.

Why is quietude now a luxury? There are two reasons:

1. Being chained to the network is now the default. Everyone on the bus is either talking on a mobile phone or staring at a mobile device. Whatever status there once was in being connected has completely evaporated. As I have noted here before, the highest possible status now is reserved for those who cannot waste their valuable time being accessible to everyone with a network connection.

2. Thinking clearly and productively is impossible when a train of thought is constantly interrupted by incoming messages and notifications.

Being constantly interrupted and distracted is fine if your work is routine and doesn't require any concentrated thought or creativity, and this is why the heavily-hyped myth that being connected boosts your productivity is so risible: the Apple Watch certainly notifies you of your meeting in Cupertino in an hour, but since you've been connected to the network every waking hour of every day, you've had no mental space to come up with any ideas worthy of a meeting in Cupertino.

It's ironic, isn't it? All these networked devices are supposed to boost your productivity by flooding you with mostly useless/trivial messages and notifications, when the reality is being connected is a sure way to destroy productivity.

Yes, salespeople have to be connected 24/7 to respond to customers, but outside of sales and on-call workers, being connected offers diminishing returns that are directly correlated to the concentration required to get the work done. The need to concentrate is just as high in skilled manual trades as it is for creative-content work.


Some form of derangement or collapse of productivity is the inevitable consequence of being constantly distracted and interrupted.

Getting a message or notification of any kind feeds our desire to appear worthy and important, but the ubiquity of messages and notifications now matches the ubiquity of adverts. The status value of being connected is now zero. The status value is in being unconnected.

If Apple offers a watch that can only display time and date, I am interested--at $40 or less. I like the look of the Apple Watch, and as an accessory that displays time and date, it is functional to me, because I leave phones and other devices off to avoid being distracted. A watch that cannot interrupt or distract me is the only watch with any productive value. 



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle edition
Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.  And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



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