The Body Double: A Unique Strategy for Getting Things Done for ADHD

The “Body Double” is another technique for adults with ADHD that are important but not fun or inherently rewarding (doing laundry, to making phone calls). The concept of the body double is that you have a friend who knows what specific task/project you are supposed to be working on at the moment and maybe that friend is in the room with you (maybe not even assisting me, but just being with me) then I’m less likely to drift off and decide to do something else. Just having that friend there increases your focus. As an ADHD coach I have used this strategy that was the least interesting and compelling for me. The key to employing this strategy effectively is knowing why it works, how and when to use a body double. First let me tell you why body doubling work.

Why Does Body Doubling Work?

Some reasons why body doubling works for adults with ADHD are

-It has a calming affect due to you are only focused on the task/project for which you asked the help of a friend to be your body double not the countless of other tasks you have to do

-It serves as a reminder of your intentions when you get distracted

-Your body double serves as a gatekeeper due to you feel obligated to do the task

-It serves as a model on how you want to work

How To Use A Body Double Effectively?

When you ask yourself the following questions about a specific task it can help you decide whether you need a body double and who that person should be.

-What are the challenges I am having starting, following through and completing the task?

-Considering these challenges, how would having another person by my side be helpful?

-Would this person be a friend, family member or someone I hire?

-Would I be in charge of the project and delegate tasks to my body double or would my body double be heading up the project? Alternatively, would my body double just be present while I work?

-What specifically would that person be doing to help me?

-What would they say to support me? Just as important, what would I not want them to say?

-How could a body double help you with a current project?

-Can you think of other reasons a body double could helpful?

Several Different Ways To Use A Body Double

There are several different ways a person with ADHD can use a body double

-You could ask that person to sit with you and to assist to with planning out the steps and estimate how much time it might take. Once you get started maybe that person could do their own work as you proceed. If you get stuck or start feeling overwhelmed, you could ask them for help, again.

-Your body double could assist you in some part of your project that you are working on. For instance, as you look for receipts, your body double could scan them and organize them into folders on your computer.

-You can ask your body double to gently remind you to stay on task. If you were doing a particular task and you start opening your mail, your body double could say something like “didn’t you want to do that later.”  To which you might respond, “right, thanks.”

-You could just have someone physically there maybe enough to minimize the boredom you feel when you are working by yourself.

What are some other ways you can use a body double? I would love hear your ways you can use a body double by joining my FREE PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP Transform Your ADHD