Hey, by any chance, did you visualize a stunt artist when you read Body Double? I did, too, when I came across the term. There is another meaning to this term as well. Welcome to the virtual world terminology.
A body double is your partner/buddy helping you complete your work just by being around you. For example, in the corporate world, a buddy is assigned to you when you join a company. This person will have similar job skills and resembles your job profile too. They will pair up with you for work or projects. This concept has been used for ADHD (Attention deficit/Hyperactive) individuals as well, who are unable to focus on one task for too long and often get bored with work routines. A buddy helps motivate them to work harder and be on time for work too.
Post the pandemic, we all have gone into shells and walls in the virtual world and working on targets and deadlines isolated. So body doubling has also been a great initiative in boosting work productivity and morale. So, are you the one to procrastinate on your work? Do you need more motivation to finish daily work tasks? Then you need a body double to help you out.
When I first heard about the term, my first image was of a stunt artist who doubles up for an actor on screen. In this case, the body double will have your physique and even resemble you, so the audience will think it is the actor doing the stunts. But can we have a Body Double in real life too? The answer is yes, you can!
Though there is a difference here, a body double in the reel world or celluloid does stunts for you, whereas in real life, your partner, a.k.a Body Double, will do their tasks on their own, but make sure you complete your deadlines too, sitting next to you – in another screen and different part of the globe.
Honestly, the virtual world does not cease to surprise me. I loved the idea of me working with another stranger in a different time zone. All you need to do is chalk out your tasks and deadlines. Your partner will not even talk to you. They will be simply there in the same chat room quietly. I found a website for Body Doubling, registered there, and booked a session. The website usually matches you with a person available at the time. I got a partner from Australia. We both worked for 25 minutes together. At the end of the session, we exchanged notes on how much we had completed and parted ways. It was so simple. After that, I re-booked another session for a longer duration this time.
Body doubling is a boon for those working from home who need daily motivation to work. It has also benefited people with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). So, a Body Double can help people re-center their focus whenever their minds gravitate elsewhere. It is like having your best friend or buddy next to you in the same room. The only rule of websites hosting Body Doubling services is that you will not socialize or talk. Just do your work and exit the chat window after the session. It makes your work time extremely productive, and you do not feel sad at the end of the day. A few registered users on websites and apps for body doubling have given reviews, saying how it has helped their business immensely and completing daily tasks flawlessly.
This is the online world. You can also choose to go offline and have body doubles in the real world.
Most big metros and cities are witnessing a sudden trend of co-working spaces in various parts of the city. Many are willing to rent out or lease out spaces of their houses/apartments for people who want to work from outside office settings. Many may not want to work from home, and such spaces are a welcome change from the usual dull ambiance. You share work spaces with people you may or may not know from different walks of life and professions. It’s fun to interact with them and complete your work as well. Experts have said this is the best way to improve morale and work productivity; hence, companies are now open to the hybrid work model. It is a win-win for both employers and employees. Work getting completed on time and happy employees who can be more relaxed finishing targets and daily deadlines. Body Doubles can be anywhere if you don’t get busy socializing or dating during work hours!
Perks of Body Doubling
1. Improved Focus and Concentration
Having a partner ensures you will keep your mobile away and focus only on the work and the clock!
By the end of the day, you can proudly tick off your completed deadlines and targets. But the best part is you can be accountable only to yourself.
3. Boosts Productivity
When you improve your deadlines and target time, productivity gets boosted, and you also complete more work. But, of course, the disclaimer is not to overwork as well ‘coz “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Co-working sometimes leads you to get a work buddy and a future professional collaboration. Once you know the person well enough and they are from the same field as you, then you can even work on projects jointly!
5. Better Zeal To Work
Once you know another person is working as well with you, you tend to work better.
Historically, there is evidence for the practice of Body Doubling. Interestingly, one of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, is known to have used this technique to improve his work productivity. He would set a timer and work with a friend. He had a rule not to take any breaks in the time set for work. Initially begun for people suffering from attention difficulties, this is now useful for all those who are into target-based or deadline work and are working from home.
You do not need to go online to find work partners or Body Doubles. You can go offline too. Find your work buddies in your area, and share the rent for a co-working space and work. Thanks to the pandemic, virtual co-working has become a blessing in disguise for everyone. But, unfortunately, it has shrunken the world a wee bit more than earlier.
As Benjamin Franklin said: “Lost Time is never found again,” so I say, ‘Go find your Body Double now!’
Priya is a quirky writer/photographer/closet poet, and singer who has traversed a non-conventional path. As a former entertainment journalist who has worked in print and online media for a decade, Priya loves talking to people and writing their unspoken stories. She is the single parent of an 8.5-year-old son settled in Tamil Nadu and a freelance Content Consultant. Priya is also an informal mentor to parents in her local parenting network. She dreams of being an author and maybe a scriptwriter someday!
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