I took my watch off, placed of reverently on my dresser and took a deep breath. I had worn a watch almost non-stop since I was 10 and got my first Timex as a gift. It was a green army style watch with their glow in the dark hands and numerals. Whatever it is, all kids love things they can use the dark, flashlights being the best example. My girls will play with flashlights or light up wands for hours at a time, exploring basements, closets, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Taking my watch off was inspired by @JFM and his book about being a minimalist. After reading it - which was very good - my thought was to experiment with how time might move while you're not consciously aware of it.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250"] The watch I don't wear.[/caption]
Checking the time was second nature to me. Like a nervous tic I would do it whether I needed to know the time or not. What were the things I really needed a watch for? I have meetings to attend but never more than four or five in a day so my iPhone certainly sufficed for that. My iPhone also has an alarm and my computer has a clock. Before taking it off my hopes were high that things wouldn't be too difficult and this might be a permanent change, here's what I learned.
We don't give enough credit to things moving at their own pace. Having a watch does not make lines move faster, traffic more efficient or kids dress quicker. Having a watch does not manipulate time but it lets time manipulate you. My wife and I went to Disney and there were many lines there. Without having a watch to watch it seemed like a simpler, less stressful trip. There was just waiting for something and when that was completed we would head to the next thing and wait more. A quick aside - we were in Disney for four days and did some nice adult things.
Taking a timepiece off my body also made me check my phone less. It doesn't matter exactly what time it is and I found that this applied to nearly all the other information my phone could display. Weather? Look around. Weather in five days, does that matter right now? Facebook updates? Enjoy this moment, check later. Very important emails? With my job there's nothing that important.
It's been two weeks since removing my watch and it still isn't back on and the biggest thing I've learned hasn't been about measuring time but measuring everything else. When rumors began surfacing around an Apple smart-watch and the Pebble Kickstarter campaign was so successful I knew I had to have one. It's a watch and I love watches. It's cutting edge and I love cutting edge. It's a purchase that will give me an ephemeral lift. But I don't need watches, being on the cutting edge or ephemeral lifts. Always knowing the time may seem important but isn't really, these things are too.