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How Your Smartwatch Can Help You Be A Better Student

Apple Watches entered the market in April of 2015, and in true Apple fashion, they have many of us wondering how we ever lived without them. The compatibility of the Watch with other devices in the Apple ecosystem like iPhones, iPads, and AirPods take convenience tech to the next level. 

With the ability to download apps onto your wrist, there are millions of hidden tricks and tools that could be used to enhance your student experience. 

Pomodoro timer apps

College students often find themselves with a lot more responsibilities in front of them than they know what to do with. In this case, time management strategies can be implemented to ease yourself through your hefty to-do list. 

A very popular strategy, called the Pomodoro technique, has become more and more common among students. This technique was coined by Francesco Cirillo, and it involves working uninterrupted for 25 minutes followed by a short five minute break. After three 25 minute long intervals and 5 minute breaks, a longer 10 minute break separates the time. 

Apple Watches can be used to implement the Pomodoro technique into your studying habits with a couple of helpful apps that set the timer up for you:

https://apps.apple.com/bj/app/be-focused-pomodoro-timer/id973130201

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pomodoro-focus-timer/id1265128036

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pommie-pomodoro-timer/id933199616

Mindfulness apps

There is an endless list of stressors and stimulants that a student crosses paths with everyday. When juggling the chaos of life, it’s helpful to stay in the present moment and remain mindful of how you’re relaxing. Built-in apps like the Breathe app remind you to pause and focus on your breathing throughout the day; other third party apps like Headspace go more in-depth with mindful relaxation. 

And get this, connecting these apps to the Health app means you’re getting a more holistic view at the technology’s analysis of your health. Incorporating sleep tracker apps, meditation apps, and period cycle tracker apps into your Health app brings all of that information into one access point. Click here to learn how to connect third party apps to Health.

Habit tracking

It’s recommended that you spend 2-3x as many hours per week studying for each credit hour you take. That means that if you are taking 15 credit hours, you should be studying an additional 30 hours per week outside of class. Habit tracking apps allow you to set goals in whatever unit you choose, whether it be units of time, distance, volume, or a custom unit.

By setting weekly study goals, you have a visual representation of what classes take the most time during your week and what you need to prioritize. Go meet your goals!

Some highly rated habit tracking apps: 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/habit-tracker/id1438388363

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/habit-daily-tracker/id1445651730

Staying off your phone

Lastly, and what I believe to be the most important feature of the Apple Watch, is how it enables you to disconnect from the digital distractions around you to focus. The wearable tech acts as a tiny touchpoint into the digitally connected world without the capability of scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, or YikYak. With the touch of a button, you can disable notifications for whichever devices you’re working on, and you can remain reachable without jumping into scrolling through countless posts.

The Apple Watch’s features can receive and respond to text messages (both iMessage and SMS), make or take phone calls, read and respond to emails, and enable ‘Do Not Disturb’ effortlessly. To paraphrase Lorde’s viral ‘Solar Power’ lyrics; “can you reach me? Sort of!”

Custom “Do Not Disturb” settings allow the owner of the device to create any combination of notifications they would like to receive when each setting is enabled. Creating a “Library” customization could include only receiving text messages and no phone calls, “Class” could mean no text messages (besides Mom and Dad, of course), or anything that you see fit!

Making it work for you

The ultimate test of the Apple Watch is how well it works for YOU. Following these tips might help you to utilize your smartwatch in a more meaningful way!

Maggie is currently a second year at Michigan State University studying journalism with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
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