Doubling the body means doing something in the presence of others. Another person, such as a husband or wife, can help if they do housework together. They can work on the same problem but independently, for example when friends do homework together. Or they can just listen to music or do an unrelated activity quietly.

ADHD body doubling is when a person with ADHD engages in potentially frustrating activities with other people. This other person is a “body double” for ADHD. The body’s dual function is to help people with ADHD stay on time and on task, reducing the risk of distraction.

The body double can be a classmate, a friend or family member, or another acquaintance. A person can use body doubles to perform different tasks or change body doubles for the same task. For example, a person may work with a spouse to complete household chores, but may partner with different colleagues to complete a work project.

Benefits of Body Doubling

Body doubling is a self-help technique that can help some people with ADHD do daily tasks like cleaning and studying more efficiently and effectively. If it works, it could give people control over their diagnosis, reduce depression, and even improve self-esteem.

Body doubles can help a person learn to function more independently because they gain new skills by observing their body doubles. This practice is not for everyone. For some, it can make ADHD symptoms worse.

It is important to experiment with different measures of ADHD. A therapist can help develop additional strategies. Some people also receive support from learning skills classes or training organizations. These lifestyle changes are most effective when people receive appropriate care in the form of medication and therapy.


By being calm in the presence of other people can prevent hyperactive behavior by modeling focused behavior or calming people with ADHD.

People with non-diagnostic diagnoses may feel less pressure to stay at work. For example, if a couple cleans together, people may not flirt or email because they don’t want to let their partner down.

Other people can also show you how to stay on task and do the job well. If two people study together, a more attentive student can help a person with ADHD take notes more effectively or better understand the study material.

Downsides of Body Doubling for ADHD

“Often people think, ‘Oh, this is the thing that is going to work for everyone.’ But it’s important not to make generalizations about what will work,” Chemel says.

In some cases body doubling could root problems such as:


If you invite close friends while you work, you can spend more time than work. Of course, using apps like TikTok can be a cause of distraction and procrastination. Sometimes the physical environment can also be distracting. A good setting will not distract or distract you. Some people do best in complete silence. Some need music. Others cannot tolerate visual confusion. An environment that feels safe, supportive and encourages positivity is best.


Frustrated people are often the subject of very negative messages surrounding their ability to get things done. Your body should be one that can create a non-judgmental work zone with you.

“People have a lot of shame around what they call their ‘doom piles.’ So when I work with them, I’m not necessarily giving a lot of organizational tips,” Chemel explains. “I create a space where they can talk about projects without judgment.”

Chemel continues, “No matter how mundane the task is — doing a load of laundry or making a peanut butter sandwich — that nonjudgmental space is really important for neuro-divergent people who get a lot of judgmental messages. A good coach normalizes the challenges that neurotypical people find easy.”

How it Can be Treated?

Double body is not always available, and does not work for every type of business. Individuals with ADHD are reported to use several other strategies to achieve their goals.

According to a research, people with ADHD said they took benefit from:

  • Checklists, apps and tools to remember tasks, meetings and appointments
  • change tasks to prevent anxiety and boredom
  • busy routine and solid structure
  • physical education
  • calm and peaceful, the environment
  • immersion in nature
  • Some job characteristics can complement the strengths of some adults with ADHD:
  • Passion oriented
  • High intensity
  • Ultra structured
  • Lightning speed
  • Being creative

Also anyone can have a body double. If you feel you would benefit from a body double, ask a friend or family member to be with you while you do an activity. Remember that they can act unrelated, they don’t have to be in direct contact with you to be an effective body double.

If you live alone and don’t have someone local to fill this role, a double crew can join you via video or phone. You can even post on social media that you are doing something to increase your sense of responsibility.

What Characteristics Should We Look for in a Body Double?

Find someone you can trust and be independent. They can sit on their laptop, read, knit or work in peace. Their job is not to work with you.

It takes energy to be ordered, watched, or interrupted by other people, and the expenditure of energy equals distraction.

The reason the body does double works for many is because it helps complete the simplest thing that would give the average person an excuse to stay away from the task.

On the other hand, it would help people who procrastinate because of the reason which is just an excuse to move on to something more interesting.

In the light of any proven scientific explanation, the body is a double chair, a space shuttle, a karmic anchor, or a fixture between you and the door. I hope it can be a useful tool in your magic bag to use when you need to get the job done and stay on track.

If the problem requires your attention and it seems impossible to do it alone – ask, borrow or hire double sitting in the seat next to you.

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