2023 Newsfeed

Managing ADHD with an Apple Watch

When studying, time management and sustained attention are two of the most important factors for academic success. These areas happen to be rather challenging when you have ADHD.

ADHD or Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is a chronic neurological disorder, that involves a combination of problems, such as difficulty paying attention, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.

As an adult living a productive life with ADHD, my Apple watch has helped me build and maintain positive habits surrounding study and day-to-day life. In the year and half, I have had my watch it has certainly made a huge difference.

I’m not alone, technological advancements have had some positive effects on the neurodiverse community. The use of devices allows many to stay on task and reach goals that were previously more difficult to achieve. Particlarly with wearable devices such as Apple Watches, visual and audio cues help to build positive habits.

Square Smart watch, showing Digital time with rainbow background

The problem with the abundance of technology available is finding something suitable for your needs which can be a confusing and arduous task. Especially considering the large price tag, the potential benefit of a smartwatch needs to be explored before purchase.

What areas does it help with?

Time Blindness is the inability to accurately measure time, often causing difficulty in creating a realistic schedule, procrastination, and missing deadlines.

Forgetfulness associated with ADHD is often described as brain fog. It often involves forgetting important events and regularly losing belongings. This can be incredibly frustrating and can cause lots of stress.

Stand Notifications

One feature that I have grown to appreciate is the reminder ‘to stand’. If you haven’t been standing and moving for at least 1 minute within the first 50 minutes of the hour, you will get this reminder to stand.

This is excellent, particularly when I am hyper-focused during study season. Not only does it encourage regular movement, but it’s also a reminder that time is passing. This feature directly addresses time blindness issues by prompting healthy study practices.

Smartwatch showing notification. 
Top left: Blue arrow pointing up. 
Reads: Time to stand! 
Stand up and move a little for one minute. 
Bottom centre: 'Dismiss' button 
Laptop in the background.
Calendar Reminders

One of my favourite features of this watch is receiving calendar notifications on my wrist. It makes it easy to remember project due dates, meetings and class schedules, as the calender syncs with all my devices.

I used to worry that I would forget something important. Now, I don’t need to worry, (as much). Not only does this assist with forgetfulness, but it also makes it easier to create a realistic schedule, which is often difficult due to time blindness.

Screenshot of a calendar, shows 3 assignments due.
Minimising Distractions

Maintaining focus can be difficult, especially for a long period of time which is often needed when completing large projects. One of the best ways to maintain focus is to remove distractions, Phones being a big one.

Before I had my Apple watch, any notification was an opportunity to be distracted by my phone. Having my watch on while studying allows me to remain connected while reducing the potential for distraction. Through the watch notifications, I can determine if something requires immediate attention or if I can respond later.

This alone has increased my productivity immensely and has allowed for a deeper level of focus than was previously attainable.

Find My Phone

I am incredibly grateful to be able to ‘call’ my phone from my watch. This feature makes your phone buzz and flash its light, even when it’s in silent mode. Absolutely incredible.

Hand pressing a button on the smartwatch. 
Phone in background with bright flash light on.

I used to be one of those people that would lose their phone 10 times a day. Now, I still lose it occasionally, but I can again find it in seconds. This tool decreases the negative outcome caused by my forgetfulness.

Overall, my Apple watch has allowed me to feel more in control of my life and much less stressed. It has been a very valuable tool in mitigating my ADHD-associated challenges, through simple reminders and solutions. It’s safe to say I recommend this device!