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Mental Mondays: What Is Body Doubling And How Does It Work

Mental Mondays: What Is Body Doubling And How Does It Work



e often appreciate accountability, but it’s tolerable when we choose the terms. When we have to work with a real-time partner to achieve tasks assigned to us, the feeling is often mixed. But feeling unmotivated and having someone influence you to keep going can actually be all you need. Maybe you’re a person who struggles to stay focused and productive while working or studying. Perhaps, you prefer inconsequential activities, like watching movies or scrolling social media, to the work at hand. If you’re in this boat, you might profit from a method known as body doubling.

What is body doubling?

Photo: Kindel Media/Pexels

This is a technique that involves cooperating with another person who is working on a task, whether in-person or virtually. This technique is particularly helpful for individuals with ADHD, who may struggle to maintain focus and motivation on their own. Body doubling requires having another person present, either in-person or virtually, who would work with you, or watch you work, as in the case of individuals with ADHD, to feel more accountable and motivated to stay on task.

Social media platforms such as TikTok and Facebook have become popular tools for body doubling. Users can create videos of themselves working on a task, and then share these videos with others looking for accountability and motivation. People also go live on Facebook or TikTok while working or studying to stay accountable to their viewers or followers. This virtual body doubling can be a powerful tool for individuals with ADHD who may not have access to in-person support or work remotely.

How body doubling provides motivation and support

When you work on tasks that are not exciting or engaging, it can be challenging to remain motivated. Having a body double allows you to encourage each other and recognize each other’s successes. This can keep you inspired and upbeat while at work.

How to get a body double

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There are numerous methods for finding a body double. You can enlist the assistance of an acquaintance or family member, or you can look online in forums or on social media for a body double. A professional body double or coach who specializes in dealing with ADHD sufferers can be hired. Also, you can achieve this if you have enough social media followers interested in your job or niche.

What are the benefits of body doubling?

Photo: Kindel Media/Pexels
  • Accountability: This is one of the primary advantages. Working with a body double makes it easier to remain focused and reduces distractions. You have the assurance that someone will support you and hold you responsible, which can give people with ADHD the sense of structure and routine they so frequently lack.
  • Productivity: Enhanced concentration and output are its additional benefits. You are more likely to remain on task and finish your work on time if you have someone to hold you accountable.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Body doubling is a fantastic technique for lowering tension and anxiety. You feel less overwhelmed and anxious about your workload when you know that someone is there to support you and hold you responsible.
  • Time management: When you apply body doubling while working or studying, you get things done quickly and improve your time management skills.
  • Self-confidence and self-esteem: This process boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem. When you can complete tasks and meet your goals with the help of a body double, you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Who doesn’t want such a feeling?

When to use it

Photo: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels

There are countless scenarios when this comes into play. For example, if you are working on an assignment from school or a project at work, a body double can help you stay focused and on-task. If you are trying to establish a new routine or habit, a body double can also provide the support and motivation you need to stick with it.


It’s critical to understand that body doubling is not a universally applicable answer. Some individuals might not feel comfortable using a body double, or they might choose to work alone. Furthermore, it might not be efficient for more difficult jobs or initiatives that call for specialized training or knowledge.

Body doubling versus ADHD mirroring

Photo: Roman Odintsov/Pexels

Body doubling could be a strategy in which an individual with ADHD works alongside someone else, known as a body double. This person provides accountability, motivation, and support to help the individual stay on-task and focused. The body double may or may not also have ADHD.

On the other hand, ADHD mirroring is a strategy in which an individual with ADHD observes someone else performing a task or behavior and then mirrors that behavior to learn how to do it themselves. The person being observed may or may not also have ADHD.

While both strategies can be helpful for individuals with ADHD, they are not the same thing and serve different purposes. Body doubling is focused on providing support and accountability in real-time, while ADHD mirroring is focused on learning through observation and imitation.

Featured image: Alexey Yaremenko/iStock

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