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Body doubling – how and why it works


Noisli Blog - Body doubling

Have you ever struggled to stay focused on a task? Perhaps you find yourself easily distracted, unable to maintain concentration for extended periods. If so, you’re not alone. Many people, especially if you’re neurodiverse and have ADHD, face challenges when it comes to staying on track with their work or study goals. But fear not, because there’s a simple yet powerful technique that can help: body doubling.

What is body doubling?

Body doubling involves working alongside another person who is also engaged in a similar task. This technique leverages the psychological principle of social facilitation, where the presence of another individual can enhance performance on a given task. By partnering with someone else, you create a supportive environment that promotes focus and accountability.

How body doubling works

Body doubling works by capitalizing on the presence of another individual to increase focus and motivation. When you’re working alongside someone else, you’re less likely to succumb to distractions or procrastination. This phenomenon can be attributed to several psychological factors:

Social Facilitation

Social facilitation refers to the tendency for individuals to perform better on tasks when in the presence of others. This effect is particularly strong for simple or well-rehearsed tasks. Research has shown that the mere presence of another person can enhance arousal and motivation which can lead to improved performance.


When you work with a body double, you create a sense of accountability. Just knowing that the person you trust is aware of your goals and progress can motivate you to stay focused and on task. This external accountability can help counteract the impulsivity and distractibility often associated with ADHD.


Mimicry is the unconscious imitation of the behaviors, gestures, and facial expressions of others. When you’re body doubling with someone, you may naturally mimic their focused demeanor, leading to increased concentration and productivity. This mirroring effect can create a synchronized rhythm of work, further enhancing collaboration and focus.

How to implement body doubling

Finding your body double

The first step in implementing body doubling is finding a compatible partner. Look for someone who shares similar goals and wants to help you in staying focused. This could be a friend, family member, colleague, or even an online accountability buddy.

Establish ground rules

Once you’ve found a body double, establish clear ground rules for your work sessions. Set specific goals and time limits for each session, and determine how you’ll communicate and support each other during breaks.

Create a productive environment

Choose a quiet and comfortable workspace where you can minimize distractions. Set up your work area with everything you need to stay focused, such as notebooks, pens, water, and snacks. Consider using noise-canceling headphones and listening to ambient sounds to create a conducive atmosphere.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to body doubling. Schedule regular work sessions with your body double and stick to them as much as possible. Over time, you will slowly build a habit, making it easier to stay focused and productive.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

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