How to Body Double

October 2, 2022


What is body doubling?

If you go to the coffeeshop to be around others working, like running with a friend, enjoy studying along with any of the "study with me" videos - that's body doubling. It's a method to help get you over the motivational bump and start the thing that you need/want to do.

Body doubling is quite flexible in how it can be done; others can participate with you, such as in the running with a friend example, or their presence alone can be just as useful, like the "study with me" videos.

The tasks associated with body doubling are also flexible - from chores like taking out the trash, to creative pursuits like practicing a musical instrument or painting, to work-related tasks like finishing an expense report or powerpoint deck.

At its core, body doubling converts your motivation to be there for others into a motivation to accomplish your own task - by knowing someone else is there with you doing the same thing, you feel motivated to do it too. [1]

Steps to body doubling

As mentioned above, body doubling is flexible in how it works. The steps I describe below are what we at Double have observed as those that work for us, but are not definitive by any means.

  1. Identify a task that you want or need to do. It doesn't have to be big - it could be something that may only take 5-10 minutes. In fact, the more fine-grain you can get, the better.
  2. Find a double to do that task with you. This could be your friend, spouse, people at the library, etc.
  3. Set a time and duration to accomplish that task. We actually think setting a duration is more important. By placing the task within a fixed amount of time, it lets you know that, even if you don't finish, you will do it for X amount of time. Or, if it is something that is difficult, that you need to do it for only X amount of time.
  4. Start the task with your Double at the set time. We believe that starting is most important and usually the most difficult part - that's why we place an emphasis on starting, not necessarily finishing. The momentum from starting will help you finish.
  5. After the double, reflect on how it went, how you feel, and what you'd like to change, if anything, about the next time.

We're launching Double today to solve the problems we face and want to help others accomplish their tasks, do their hobbies, and connect with others doing the same. If you'd like to give Double a try, click below to check it out!