Body Doubling is becoming increasingly popular as a way to avoid procrastination and increase productivity. The idea behind it is that you work alongside someone and they act as an accountability partner. This article in ADDitude says “Many people with ADHD find it easier to stay focused on housework, homework, bill paying, and other tasks when someone else is around to keep them company. The body double may just sit quietly. He may read, listen to music on headphones, or work on the task that the person with ADHD is working on. Hard work is simply more fun when someone else is nearby.”


However, the person doesn’t actually have to be in the room with you, or even anyone you know. There are a couple of sites, that I know of, where you can sign up for a body-doubling session. FocusMate, for example. You don’t even need to speak with the person you are doubling with. You just both sit quietly getting on with your work for 50 minute sessions.


Think Divergent have also just launched a new body doubling platform where you sign up for a 25 minute session.


With the UK membership site ADHD Unlocked, you have an option of saying in your profile whether you are interested in having an ‘accountability buddy’. Members can then get in touch with one another to make their own arrangements.


This article by Linda Anderson, an ADHD Coach, explains why body doubling is so effective, “the body double serves as a physical anchor for the distracted individual who feels more focused by the presence of another person in their space. The distracted person feels responsible to and for the body double. This perception translates as­–I can’t waste this gift of time.


Another explanation might be that the body double serves as a kind of mirror– a calm reflection for the individual with ADHD of how his over-stimulated mind and body would like to be at the moment. The body double thus becomes a model of control and a mirror confidently reflecting back the message: I can concentrate. I am working. I am focused.”


Liz Lewis, from HealthyADHD.com, describes body doubling as like a “a Jedi mind trick“. “When we have company we have less trouble getting started. With someone else there we tend to settle into the activity faster and complete it faster, which leads us to even more productive behaviors.”


However it works, body doubling seems to be a very effective tool for our ADHD toolkits. It is easy to setup and doesn’t need to cost anything and the result is increased productivity, with the bonus of connection and community if you sign up to something like Think Divergent etc.

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