I’ve been doing this for decades – at least since moving to college (when you live at home it’s somewhat built in). I just didn’t know that I had ADHD or that there was a term for what I was doing.
A nice explanation from medicalnewstoday:
Body doubling simply means doing a task in the presence of another person. The other person may help with the task, such as when a couple or housemates do housework together. They may work on the same task, but independently, such as when friends do homework together. Or they might simply be present, listening to music or quietly performing an unrelated task.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/body-doubling-adhd
I’ve also found I can use Ted Talks as somewhat of an alternative body double for mindless tasks like laundry.
My hypothesis on how it works:
- begin activity
- get distracted
- notice double (there is research that we are hardwired to see faces, I’m guessing that means that often the other person is the most attention grabbing thing around)
- remember that they are there as a double
- refocus on task