It can be challenging to stay focused on a task in today’s fast-paced world. Some individuals opt for a technique called “body doubling.” Body doubling is a simple, but effective technique that involves completing tasks or work alongside another person, either in person or virtually, to help one maintain accountability as well as stay focused.
Body doubling has been noted to aid individuals who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), executive function disorders, or anyone who struggles with staying focused for extended periods. It can be used in a variety of settings, including school, work, or even chores/errands.
The basis of body doubling is that one works alongside another person, who serves as their “body double.” The body double may be working on a different task, but their mere presence can help keep one focused and motivated.
Why does body doubling work one might ask. ADHD often involves decreased executive function and self-regulation skills in individuals. Body doubling can be beneficial for individuals with ADHD because it taps into the “social self,” therefore externalizing motivation for individuals as opposed to struggling to generate internal motivation to complete undesirable tasks.
Body doubling is not isolated to individuals working together in person, there are also online options. Some individuals will live stream their work in order to body double with viewers or there are online platforms that will match individuals with other users such as Focusmate, Flow Club, or Flown.
How to get started:
- Find a body double: You can ask a friend, family member, or colleague/coworker to be your body double. You can also look for a virtual body double on one of the websites previously listed or elsewhere depending on your preference.
- Set up a time and place: Decide on a time and place to do your body doubling session. It’s best to choose a quiet location with as little distractions as possible, such as the library or a clean workspace at home.
- Set goals: Before you start your session, set some goals for what you want to accomplish. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
- Start working: Sit down with your body double and start working. Remember to avoid distractions. This can be done by keeping minimal tabs open and putting your phone on do not disturb or focus mode.
- Take breaks: Set break times in order to avoid burnout. Perhaps get a coffee or snack with your body double. If you are body doubling virtually, perhaps allow yourself some time on social media or to answer messages from loved ones.
- Evaluate your progress: At the end of the session, evaluate your progress and see if you met your goals. If you were not able to, you can set up another session with your body double buddy.
Now that you know the basics of body doubling, you are ready to start trying it out for yourself! Remember to keep in mind, body doubling is a tool that can help you improve your focus and productivity, but it’s not a magic solution. You still need to put in the effort to stay focused and on-task.
If you or someone you know have questions about ADHD medications and wish to schedule an appointment with our provider, please contact Eastside TMS and Wellness Center at 425-919-6826.
Eastside TMS and Wellness Center does offer an alternative to medications; we also treat patients using TMS therapy. If you would like to know more information about TMS therapy, contact us using the phone number above.