Beat Procrastination By Using Body Doubles

I first learned about body doubling in 2002 from a book titled, "ADD Friendly Ways to Organize," by Judith Kohlberg and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.  More recently I have heard the concept referred to as "accountability buddy". There are even some apps that will help you connect with other people who are looking for accountability.

What Tasks Are Good For The Sessions?

I've attended some body-double sessions that were held by ADHD coaches and others with friends who just want the accountability of showing up for a task. The tasks can be boring or repetitive, like paying bills, doing laundry, or exercising, or interesting and rewarding, like working on a hobby.

I prefer to do body double sessions in groups where I already know at least one other person, and especially enjoy it when all the other participants also have ADHD. It has been an easy way to get some needed social contact while getting stuff done.

Some of my favorite sessions have been those that I have hosted. Anybody I invite must be one hundred percent accepting of me and my ADHD brain's challenges. There is no room for criticism in an effective body-doubling session. In order for all attendees to feel safe, Confidentiality is also important, so that everyone feels comfortable being their true selves, ADHD and all.

Why Does It Work So Well For ADHD Brains?

Interest is the key to working with your ADHD brain. The body-double concept can work especially well for ADHD brains by providing sufficient interest to initiate and sustain tasks. My interest in the task is further increased because I really enjoy being a contributing member of a team.

As I write this, I have two regular one-hour body double meetings with two different people.

One is an old friend who does not have ADHD. She enjoys our weekly one-hour body double sessions because we get to visit while getting things done. We (usually) limit ourselves to 5 minutes at the start to check in with each other and announce our goals. It took some trial and error to get our session routine down, but we always enjoy our visits. We keep 5 minutes available at the end to visit a little after we celebrate our successes.

The other is someone that I first met online through a virtual support group hosted by ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association). She was already very familiar with the body-double concept and had been having body-double sessions with others for a while. We already knew what we wanted out of it and were easily able to jump right in.

Every body-double session is successful because we always finish by congratulating each other on our efforts while also getting the benefits of connecting with another awesome human. They have brought me great joy and the weekly work has now become something I look forward to. It has become an indispensable part of my ADHD toolkit.

Try The Technique For Yourself

Does the body double technique sound interesting to you? Give it a try with someone you trust to be supportive, preferably with someone who also benefits. When that happens, it's an absolute "win-win!"

Click the button to get my free guide about body doubles and how to host them. It includes a simple checklist enabling you to host successful body doubles every time :-)