4/15/13

ADDaptations: Increase Your Focus with a "Body Double"


In “ADHD, Body Image, and Eating Disorders,” I cherish the value of a support group. Everyone needs one, even those without ADHD. Parents, friends, family members, and coworkers who know and understand you–quirks and all–can be the best influencers toward self-improvement.

These people recognize your strengths, call them out in texts, emails, phone calls, or–sans technology–in person. But they recognize too when you drift from your core values, and find gentle ways to foster your return to yourself. Sometimes they help simply by being present.

Before bed one night, I came across this passage in Caitlin Flora’s Friendfluence, which speaks to the values of having someone nearby. Called the “body double,” psychologists believe that ADHDrs can improve their attention simply by having this person there:
Just having friends nearby can push you toward productivity. “There’s a concept in ADHD treatment called the ‘body double,’ says David Nowell, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist from Worchester, Massachusetts. “Distractible people get more done when there is someone else there, even if he isn’t coaching or assisting them.” If you’re facing a task that is dull or difficult, such as cleaning out your closets or pulling together your receipts for tax time, get a friend to be your body double. “She could just stir the martinis,” says Nowell. “She doesn’t actually need to help in order to be helpful.” (pg. 195)
I guess the pitfall could be your inclination to engage this person, catch up on the day's antics, throw on a movie or videogame; find some way to procrastinate the task at hand. After all, this person is likely someone you love spending time with. How difficult to sit quietly side-by-side! Perhaps the guideline should be that "this is time to focus."
Even minotaur need time to focus. @Chelsea Art Galleries.
So next time you find yourself drifting from a task. Sit Mom or Grandpa or a friend or coworker (or even your lab Sparky) nearby. Perhaps that close human contact is the key to a productive day’s work. 

Have you tried this technique? Was it helpful or distracting? Sometimes I do best working in the silence of an empty room, although that, of course, is not as fun. Comment below or email me at WriteToJulianna.

Looking for more ways to adapt to life as an ADHD'r? Check out this series of posts! ADDaptations




No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...