Body Double

What comes to mind when you hear “body double”? Maybe it’s the person that stands in for an actor when they can’t or won’t do something in a scene. In the organizing industry, a body double is someone that helps a client focus on a task.  How do they help?  Usually by occupying space near the person. Simply the presence of another person in the room acts as a stimulus to action.

This phenomenon is often helpful for people with ADHD/ADD and extroverts because the body double creates focus and a sense of responsibility to complete the task.

For example, take Lily.  In most parts of her life, she is capable, compassionate and enthusiastic. But with certain chores she procrastinates. Making doctor’s appointments, paying bills, calling about service issues are examples of tasks she would rather not do. However, when I sit with her, her frame of mind changes.  She is able to tackle all these tasks quickly. I am not actively involved in the task, so she is not relying on me to finish it. But Lily knows that when I am there, it’s her time to complete these tasks. And someone is with her if she needs support (which she rarely does).

It can seem like an odd phenomenon. Especially to someone like me who prefers solitude when I’m working. But it is very powerful that the mere presence of another human being can affect behavior in such a positive way.

Do you know of anyone with ADHD/ADD or an extrovert that could benefit from a body double?

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