Ireland scored four tries in total - Jonathan Sexton, Jack Conan and Keith Earls also crossing - to secure a bonus-point win.
Head coach Schmidt had conceded Ireland had slipped off the perch of their stellar 2018 in losing to England and labouring past Scotland and Italy - but believes Sunday's controlled victory plots the course back to top form.
"When you're playing, you start to get fixated with what's coming, or if you're playing well in this Six Nations you put yourself in the window for the World Cup".
"Cian it was an incredibly smart call by him he was a bit unlucky I was frustrated by us being awarded three scrum penalties then the French had a yellow card but they still cleared their line". "And you start to get bogged down with things that don't really matter".
"We will give them the respect they absolutely deserve".
"That is always a frustration but what did impress me was the lead up play to it and Garry Ringrose was unlucky", said Schmidt. "It's a very short preparation so it will be a lot less about Wales than it will be about us just trying to get ourselves organized and ready to go".
Gatland, will leave his Wales post after the end of this year's World Cup, is due to name his team on Thursday, with McBryde reporting that fullback Liam Williams is "moving in the right direction" after going off injured against Scotland at Murrayfield at the weekend.
"It's not something that we want to miss a beat with now".
"From that perspective, it shows that we are building".
Ireland pinned France into their own 22 for nearly the entire first-half in a stunning muscle-flexing turn, leaving Schmidt suitably impressed.
"I don't think I've ever seen in the last six years a team control 40-minutes like we did in that first-half", noted Joe Schmidt.
"To keep that pressure on for the full 40 minutes spoke volumes for the intensity and about the energy that we brought to our game".
From where we were last time we sat in this room, it's taken a while but there was a bit of our rhythm back today.
"The French got knocked back early and it was hard for them to then get back on the front foot, but I think part of the hardship was that we kept that pressure on".
"But in six days' time it becomes a whole different equation".