Do you use an activity partner aka body double?

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Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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18 Jan 2022, 11:00 am

This is a concept that started in the ADD/ADHD community that has spread into the ASD and general neurodivergent communities. I just found out about it, and felt that relief you get when you discover that something that you always thought was just you being weird has a NAME, and that other people are having the same experience. Here are some bits of info I've found:

ADHD body doubling is a practice in which a person with ADHD works on and completes potentially frustrating tasks alongside another person. This other person is the “body double” for the person with ADHD. The body double’s job is to help anchor the person with ADHD to the present moment and task, reducing the risk of distraction.

The body double may make a boring task more rewarding and fun. Alternatively, they may place subtle pressure on the person with ADHD to remain focused. In some cases, the mere presence of a body double soothes the anxious mind of a person with symptoms of hyperactivity. A body double can also model attentive, focused work.

1) Having another person nearby, either physically or emotionally on the phone, can help you feel less isolated and less bored as you attempt a difficult task.

2) Knowing that someone else is in the room with you can keep you more focused on what you’re meant to be doing, because you have a constant reminder in that person.

3) The body double represents your commitment to achieving your task. Moving off-task would involve justifying that decision to your double, which is often harder than justifying that decision to ourselves.

4) A body double is giving their time to you to help you with your task, so you will be more motivated to complete it.

5) Your partner can model calm, relaxation, and focus to you while working on their own task, helping you stay regulated in your body and focused on your work.

6) A body double can remind you why you chose to do this task and what the benefit is of completing it.

7) A partner can help you physically do a task that may be easy for them but challenging for you, or can help you do one portion of your task while you take on another piece.

8 ) If you get stuck or overwhelmed in your task and are not sure what to do next, a partner can help you bounce ideas and think through your next step, and start you off on it before returning to their own work.


Has anyone else been using this idea... or want to?


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Deinonychus
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18 Jan 2022, 2:51 pm

An example of this that unknowingly "worked" for me was the several times that I brought my crappy old truck over to a friend's house, to perform some repairs and minor upgrades. I had been endlessly putting off this work, always having some excuse or another.

Although my "excuse" to bring the truck over to his house was to have his automotive technical knowledge on hand for dealing with any snags, the idea that just having someone nearby while doing something "tedious" can make it easier is quite fascinating, because that's exactly what it felt like. As I recall, I did more or less all of the work, but having him there made me less likely to drift away from the task at hand, or give up early with some manufactured excuse.

And being able to bounce ideas off of each other (He was working on one of his vehicles at the same time as I was working on mine, during at least one of the "sessions") seems to encourage progress, and reduce stress when encountering the many minor obstacles to completion that is part and parcel of working on old vehicles.

Darron

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