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  • Writer's pictureAmy Stephenson-Yankuba

Twinning is Winning: The Art of Body Doubling for Productivity 👯‍♀️

Sometimes all you need is a little mutual working sesh.


Have you ever realised that you work better next to someone else who is also working?


It’s like you absorb some of their productivity by osmosis. There’s a reason people enjoy going to co-working spaces beyond getting out of their home study.


Particularly helpful for those with ADHD, having someone around who is plugging away can really help you get started and stay focused on tasks that you’ve been putting off.


But how do you do it? What does it mean? Do you need to hire a stunt double? Do you have to comb the Earth to find a suitably convincing Doppelganger?!


No. (To the latter 2 questions.)


Body doubling is simply the practice of working in the presence of someone who is also working. You don’t even have to be working on the same task. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t!


Body doubling works best for most when you’re not talking at all (and that’s kinda hard to do if you’re supposed to be collaborating on something 😬).


Your body double doesn't even have to be in the same room, you can do it via video or phone call! Lush, innit?


If you find yourself getting more distracted than Beckham when he started dating Posh Spice - if you haven’t seen the Netflix documentary yet, he was very distracted - then this technique might be just the thing for you.


Executive function is a bit elusive sometimes, especially if you’re rocking with an attention deficit.


Here are some fancy terms from PsychCentral that will tell you a bit more about the benefits of body doubling:


  • Reduced ADHD stigma through shared experiences

  • Body double modelling of on-task behaviour

  • Reduced isolation for the person with ADHD

  • Increased sense of calm

  • Improved accountability

  • Incentive to complete tasks

  • Inspiration and motivation

  • Feedback from body double


What’s not to love?


Body doubling might just be your saving grace. It helps you stay aware that you’re trying to get something done, and in many ways - it holds you accountable.


Maybe you need that! So the next time you’re struggling to focus when you WFH, video call your colleague and sit with them in silence while you work.


P.S. Do tell them about it beforehand though, or they’ll probably just think that you’ve frozen and they’ll hang up. Or they’ll think you’re a bit weird. Or both.


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