How Wearing a Watch Keeps Me Productive and Motivated
In this article, I want to take somewhat of an unorthodox approach to a mental hack of mine that I’ve been using for several years, and that is wearing a watch.
You’re probably thinking, “What does a watch have to do with productivity, motivation, and making you a better writer?” It’s all about visualization and what the watch represents to me.
As a full-time writer, it is essential for me to hit my writing and traffic targets each day. To do that I need to utilize all the tools I have available to me to sustain higher than normal levels of productivity and motivation throughout the day.
We’ve written several articles on productivity apps, productivity hacks, and other techniques for busting through writer’s block. Today we’re talking about visualization.
Let’s back up a few years so I can explain where I’m coming from
Early in my writing career one of the blogs I frequented was run by a former Navy SEAL, Eric Davis. He specialized in mentoring individuals and businesses on human performance, productivity, and living your life for your passions.
One of the articles he wrote on his blog was titled “How a T-Shirt Got Me Through Hell Week”. I had the same reaction to that title that you probably just had to my above statement about my watch. Here is an excerpt from that article.
Visualizing what life will look—and feel like—after you do something is a powerful experience. It allows you to be the person you want to be and who is able to do the things you need to do.
As Lanny Bassham, Olympic gold medalist, had every sniper instructor saying by the time he was done teaching us about mental management and visualization techniques: “It’s like me to hit my target.” In other words, you need to see it to be it.
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, student, or just some dude who wants to ask out the waitress at the local pizzeria, visualization makes it so the first time you physically do something isn’t really the first time. That’s because our brains experience the visualization if we do it right (more on that in Part II), and the physical act itself as one and the same.
It was no wonder that when I put on my “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday” shirt, it was like slipping into familiar clothing. As far as my brain was concerned, I had already worn it many times before.
Back to my watch…
I own several watches, but only one of them gives me superhuman writing abilities when I strap it on my wrist. That’s my Ares Diver-1 watch. What’s different about this watch over the others that I own? It’s got everything to do with the origin story of the brand.
The owner of Ares Watch Company previously worked for the CIA. His job there was to develop the human performance of the case officers in the field. Then take that baseline of their performance and maximize it. He took that mindset and data and put it into the design of his watch. A watch that would allow the humans who wear it, to expand their boundaries.
The bezel of the watch is set up as an elapsed time countdown timer. This allows the person wearing the watch to track their time on target (if operating in the military) or in my case, time on task.
When I strap this watch on my wrist every morning, it flips a switch in my brain signaling it’s time to go to work and to do that work at higher than normal levels of focus, motivation, and overall performance, and to stay at those levels for a sustained period of time.
It’s almost as if I enter into a complete state of focus (a flow state) as I begin to write. In reality, wearing a watch itself does nothing to make me a better writer, but visually and mentally it does. It forces me to visualize completing a writing task within a set period of time, say 2 or 3 hours.
Wrapping It Up
This visualization works in the same way when you buy new clothes for work. When you put those new clothes on for the first time as you’re getting ready for the day, they give you a sense of confidence and motivation. The same thing can be said about a new hairstyle or haircut. For me, it’s the watch that I wear.
So does something as simple as this watch make me a better writer, keep me motivated, and make me more productive? It absolutely does.