Do You Need a Body Double?
Do you ever find yourself procrastinating like buggery over the shortest of tasks that really wouldn’t take long to do, but somehow it’s grown into a hideous metal monster that’s somehow holding you in a clammy, stinky-armpit head-hold that you just can’t get free from?
The sort of thing like a simple phone call or email you know should take five minutes or less, but you’ve over-thought the situation so much you’re paralysed.
You know…when your Dick Brain says things like:
“If you do this, it’s bound to open up a can of worms that you don’t have to deal with until you press dial/send – just leave it for a little while…”
“I’m sure this is going to upset the other person, and you can’t deal with the mental pressure of that right now. Wait until you have more energy”
“I’m sure that person doesn’t really want to hear from you because you’re annoying them. Wait until you’ve got something good to tell them as well. ”
“There’s other things you need to do first like empty the bin. That’ll help you get in the right frame of mind. Put the kettle on as well and wander around looking at your phone. That’ll be a good warm up.”
Sometimes, when I’ve been coaching people and they have a mental monster like that, I encourage them to do it right there and then when I’m sitting with them.
First of all they give me a horrified look, like I’m about to watch them take a pee, so I have to reassure them I’m not going to actually sit there and stare at them while they do it because, lets face it, it’s hard to pee while you’re being watched, but I’ll sit and do something else while they get on and do The Thing. Just keeping them company and there if they want me.
I don’t know why this works, but it does.
Maybe it triggers a feeling of urgency that helps push them over the line. Maybe it’s because they know how ridiculous it is to keep putting it off, and don’t want to look even more stupid in front of me. Or, maybe it’s simply because they know if the monster does bite then they’ll have me there to talk to afterwards.
The sense of relief when it’s done is palpable, and they’ll often have an embarrassed little chuckle about how easy it was.
But I totally get it.
No need to feel silly.
Sometimes our Dick Brain gets the better of us.
It seems I’m not the only person to use this technique because I saw it described in an article as the “Body Double Method”, which was described as someone who sits with you whilst you complete something you’re illogically resisting.
Apparently, people with ADHD can benefit from this technique if they have trouble settling to do a task. I’ll definitely call in backup next time I get stuck on something silly that I can’t get myself to do.
So, if you’re gripped in a sweaty monster head-lock, maybe it’s time to get yourself a body double!
If you want me as your own personal bogey-bashing wing-man, then book a triage call through the website!