ADHD and the Smartwatch

Jun. 6th, 2016

This past week I purchased a Pebble Time smartwatch* for use in my business. It allows me to be notified of emails quickly so I can respond in a timely manner and have instant access to my schedule. These are the features that drew me to my first experience of wearable technology. However the more I've used it the more it is showing itself to be one of the most useful things for my ADHD I've encountered in quite a while.

There are people who look askance at anyone who uses and relies on technology heavily. Especially a young person, fearing, I assume, that it is harmful to them. Certainly modern technology has had negative impacts on people, most notably to me the disconnection instant access has caused first world societies, socially.

However, it doesn't behoove anyone to dismiss or judge how others live their lives.

While in my ADDCA coach training, the co-founder, David Giwerc, extolled the uses dictation software had and the freedom it allowed him in writing his book Permission to Proceed. He finds typing very difficult and tedious and were it not for this software, he told me and my classmates, the book would not have been written.

Similarly the reminder app Alarmed allows me to run my life and business smoothly where otherwise I would need a full-time personal assistant and/or maid. That being said, should the zombie horde rise up, my life will instantly fall to pieces. But then again, not many people need to check their email during the apocalypse so perhaps everything will even out in the end.

Another feature of the Pebble Time is the sleep and step tracking. For the first time in my life I know how far I walk in a day (and have extra encouragement to increase that distance) and how much sleep and deep sleep I get each night. Exercise and sleep are two cornerstones of ADHD management and studies have even shown that, in some cases, exercise can replace ADHD medication, without the side effects.

I've also tried the Pomodoro technique for the first time as a result of a Pebble Time app.

The absolute best ADHD management benefit though, in my opinion, is the streamlined nature of my focus. When a notification goes off on my phone, I'm tempted to open it, play a game, check Facebook, and so on. Even if I simply check email, I waste time. When a notification comes in on the watch, I can screen the importance, and avoid the temptation and distractions.

As with so many things, the key to making technology work for you is balance.

*Footnote: Pebble is now a part of FitBit technology.