Our secret to getting the ho-hum stuff done

by Darlene Veenhuizen

In the whirlwind world of productivity hacks, here’s a lesser-known concept that’s slowly gaining traction: Body Doubling. The idea is simple, yet it can be a game-changer in boosting your productivity and knocking those daunting tasks off your to-do list (especially if you are an easily distracted, ADHD person or neurodivergent!) But first, let’s bring some context to the table.

Imagine the setting: You’re sitting at your desk, determined to finally tackle that presentation for next week. But every time you stare at the blank PowerPoint, you find yourself getting distracted. Sounds familiar, right? Now imagine if a friend was sitting with you, working on their own project. Suddenly, the task doesn’t seem so insurmountable. This is the essence of Body Doubling. It’s like a study group, for adults. 

Okay, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s delve a bit deeper into the science, the benefits, and the possible pitfalls of body doubling.

The Science Behind Body Doubling

Body doubling taps into our basic human instinct – social facilitation. We perform better when we’re in the company of others. The presence of another person working silently can boost our motivation and concentration, and often, it helps lessen the anxiety or procrastination associated with a task. To be honest, no one has yet researched the effectiveness of body doubling – we only know it works for us, and we’ve heard anecdotal stories about it’s effectiveness from others who tend to get distracted or put off mundane, yet important, tasks on the regular. The only way to know if it works for you is to try it! DASH offers sessions on Tuesday mornings.

The Benefits of Body Doubling

Beyond the clear advantage of increased productivity, body doubling offers the following benefits:

  1. Combating Isolation: Whether you’re working remotely or studying for exams, the process can be isolating. Having another person in the same space, even virtually, can make the journey less lonely.
  2. Accountability: It’s much easier to stay on task when someone else is in the room. You’re less likely to fall into the rabbit hole of social media or start binge-watching a series on Netflix. For me, I tend to task switch. Do you find yourself doing this? I’ll start working on something then decide halfway through I need to actually work on something else. I end up starting multiple things and finishing nothing. This is not making progress, but creating more chaos! But when body doubling, I am reminded that I set aside that time to work on a specific task I’ve been needing to get to, but have been avoiding. Having this tiny bit of accountability and the zoom window open in the corner of my screen greatly diminishes the need to task switch.
  3. Structure: Especially for those who struggle with time management, body doubling provides a structured time to focus on tasks.

The Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

While body doubling can work wonders, it isn’t immune to potential pitfalls. However, with conscious effort, these can be avoided. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

  1. Distractions: DASH Body Doubling sessions are not for chatting. We have a brief check in at the beginning or I say a quick hello when a new person joins, but other than that, we work in silence. At the end we do a quick goodbye and share progress or if it was a struggle. No judgment! If the people joining you in the body doubling session are too chatty or their activity is visually distracting, it could defeat the purpose of body doubling. The solution? Try it how DASH has set it up: set ground rules at the beginning – agree to work in silence and take designated breaks for conversation.
  2. Misalignment of tasks: If one person is engaged in a light task like organizing their desk, and the other is trying to solve a complex equation, it might not work as well. Aim for tasks that require a similar level of focus. This is more of an issue if you are doing in-person body doubling. If you are doing virtual, this usually isn’t an issue, or you can turn your camera off if you are doing something visually distracting (like making large gestures or hucking things in the trash.)
  3. Digital Fatigue: If you’re body doubling virtually, be aware of digital fatigue. Make sure to take breaks, hydrate, and blink! If you just need a break from the computer, maybe let others know that you are body doubling, but need to do tasks off the computer and just turn your camera off. 

Is Body Doubling for You?

Like every productivity hack, body doubling isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people work best in solitude, while others thrive in a bustling café. But it’s worth giving it a shot, especially if you’ve found it hard to focus when working or studying alone. The trick is in finding the right body double and setting the right ground rules.

So, if you’re dreading that looming task on your to-do list, give body doubling a shot. You might find that a silent partner is the missing ingredient in your productivity recipe.

Try out a DASH Body Doubling Session! They are free and you can join in on Tuesdays at 11am PST on Zoom. Get the details by joining our Facebook Community.

If you are not sure sure what work on during body doubling, why not prep for our FREE SEO class and go do some keyword research on your business! See our SEO blog on that here: SEO Blog on Unleashing Your SEO Mojo – 3 Steps to Become Dangerously Effective.

Join us on Wednesday, June 28, for an exclusive free workshop where we’ll reveal the top SEO hacks tailored specifically for small business owners. Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a small team, this workshop is designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools to bootstrap your SEO efforts. We’ll provide valuable insights and actionable strategies. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to propel your business forward. Reserve your spot today and get ready to revolutionize your SEO game.

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