body doubleYou may be familiar with the term, ‘stunt double’, specifically in the movie industry. Stunt doubles are trained to perform stunts that are typically dangerous in nature, in the place of an actor.  But what is a body double you ask?

You may not be familiar with the term ‘body double’. This term has a very different meaning than a stunt double.  It’s used in the organizing industry, most notably for those with Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD), but not exclusively.

In a nutshell, a body double is another person that sits with you, or occupies the same area while you work which helps you get things done.  They may or may not work on the same task that you are working on, they are just another presence in your company.

This may seem counter-productive in nature, it did to me when I first heard the term.  I thought it may be distracting to have another person nearby when trying to get things done, but it works for a lot of people.

There have been many times I heard from friends and clients that they don’t get things done because they don’t want to do them alone.  It’s difficult to get started.  Then it’s difficult to stay on task once they get started.  It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a difficult task or something mundane like housework, or even a task you enjoy.

I understand.  There’s something about being in another person’s company that helps us with our own productivity.  Body doubles provide the social interaction that makes you feel that you’re not alone.

Body doubles provide motivation.  When someone is in your presence, they are typically doing something.  It may be working on something of their own.  It may be that they are simply reading a book or playing games on their phone.  You notice that they are working in some capacity and that gives you the motivation to do your own thing.

Body doubles provide reciprocity.  Both of you are body doubles for each other. Each of you are getting things done because of the other.  It’s a partnership of sorts. You both benefit from this partnership.

If you have issues getting things done, and have friends that have the same challenge, talk to them about becoming body doubles for each other. You may find that the answer to your productivity dilemma is just a phone call away!