Body Doubling in Virtual Co-Working Spaces

Body Doubling in Virtual Co-Working Spaces

One of the best things to come out of Create the Rules Catalyst was a bit of an accidental discovery. We wanted to introduce a way that people could work on projects in the company of other members AND easily get support from the moderators in the room. Using GoBrunch, an online meeting space, we set up rooms where people could sit their avatar down and do the work.

What we soon realized is – this was also using a productivity tool called Body Doubling. Folks with ADHD often find a benefit from doing difficult or boring tasks alongside another person. I know personally, I am autistic and I have ADHD and I have been doing this without even knowing it. I love talking on the phone and cleaning the house. I work with from home with the TV on.

Both of these are using the proximity of someone nearby to get things done and complete the focus. Back to the Accelerator. Using the awesome rooms in GoBrunch the act of sitting down at the table – whether someone else was in the room or not, seemed to help with productivity. Not only was I getting some of my most complex tasks done, but I was get more tasks done. This also accounted for the hours I was a moderator in the room and had moments where I was supporting other members. Being in the room meant I could easily come back to the task I was in before helping the member.

Some of the Catalysts have mentioned that being in the room has been a game changer for them in getting their work done. Combine that with the Pomodoro timer we have going during the moderated days and you have a winning combination.

Lacey cahill strategic operations manager.

Combatting Loneliness in Business

Body doubling isn’t just about productivity. It’s knowing someone else is there working alongside you and can understand and appreciate where you are at in your current stage of business. Even business owners with big teams and business besties can feel lonely as they work on their business. Part of this is because we still have a huge stigma around making mistakes, struggling, not having all of the answers and not knowing what our next step is. That societal pressure to be on the top performing all of the time is literally killing people and one of the ways we have seen body doubling in the co-working rooms is an impact on mental health, loneliness and frustration.

How Body Doubling Works

Body doubling is a strategy that can help entrepreneurs with ADHD (and without ADHD) stay focused and productive. The concept involves working alongside another person, even if they are not actively collaborating. Simply having someone else present can help hold an entrepreneur accountable and minimize distractions.

For entrepreneurs with ADHD, body doubling works by utilizing the brain’s innate desire for social connection. The presence of another person stimulates the entrepreneur’s focus and executive functioning. Knowing that someone else is monitoring their progress makes it easier to avoid procrastination and hyperfocusing on irrelevant tasks. Body doubling provides external motivation and structure that counters the poor time management and disorganization associated with ADHD. It allows entrepreneurs to optimize their workflow and achieve consistency. By sticking to a body doubling routine, entrepreneurs with ADHD can boost their productivity and ensure they are making consistent progress on business goals. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or hired coworker, body doubling is a straightforward yet powerful tactic to manage ADHD symptoms. It enables entrepreneurs to minimize their weaknesses and capitalize on their creative strengths.

Social Connection & Getting Sh*t Done

The human brain has evolved to prioritize social interactions and connections. When another person is present, even quietly, the brain’s social reward systems activate. This provides a boost of motivation to stay focused on productive work and avoid procrastination. For entrepreneurs with ADHD, having a body double triggers the desire to “perform” in front of an audience and seek approval. The mere presence of someone else activates self-monitoring and accountability. It suppresses the urge to hyperfocus on enjoyable distractions. Working solo for long periods can lead to boredom, mind-wandering, and poor time management. But engaging that innate social reward drive counters these ADHD symptoms. With a body double, the entrepreneur’s brain stays in high gear, activating executive function, sustained focus, and task initiation. The body double essentially serves as a human stimulant medication. Regular social connection and accountability become an external scaffolding to boost productivity from the inside out.

Done WITH You Support

While silent co-working is useful, sometimes you also just need someone to jump in with you and get the thing done. Create the Rules Catalyst was designed to help with both silent body doubling but also as an implementation support system where we help you write, design, post, edit and test all the parts of your business – from systems to marketing to onboarding and customer retention.

Both products and services can benefit from body doubling and Done WITH you support. Come make, create and inspire with us.

Briar harvey briar harvey briar harvey briar harvey.