this is a watch. a what? a watch. a what? a watch. oh, a watch.

Here is my best recommendation of the year: Buy a watch and wear it.

I don't mean a watch that can tell you the temperature. I don't mean a watch that lets you play games. I don't mean a watch that checks your email, adds and subtracts, or mows your grass while you watch football 160 miles away.

I mean a plain old Timex kind of watch.

I started wearing a watch a few months ago for the first time since I was in high school. Here's how this plain-ass watch has changed my life:

1: I don't have to pull out my phone or leave it on the table to check the time during meetings.

2: I don't have to pull out my phone to check the time when I'm hanging out with my daughter.

3: I don't have to pull out my phone to check the time when I'm spending time with other people I love.

Perhaps you can detect a theme here.

When I pull out my phone to check the time, I am also checking messages, whether I want to be or not. I don't have email notifications, but texts and phone calls show up on my screen. And even if I don't read them, I notice who they're from, decide how urgent they are, and generally get distracted for at least a moment.

And even if I don't have any texts or calls, the other person still knows I can see the possibility of them. It breaks the connection. It can't be done and still preserve the flow of conversation.

The solution: the humble, single-tasking watch.

Try it. You don't have to be fancy. For me, it was 17 dollars well spent.