#402: Body Doubling

View from a hill near the Detroit river. Wetland plants, snaking concrete path, skyline and Windsor in the distance.
Riverfront, Detroit, MI

I’ve been trying, this week, to finish my past studio projects. Key word: trying. The architecture program ended a couple of months ago and it’s been challenging – maybe predictably so – to slip back into a mode of hands-on making. There is concrete wanting to be cast and poured, wood that beckons joinery and glue. My final project calls for a writeup here, and part of it to be printed into a booklet or zine.

Folks in ADHD circles talk about body doubling, which is like coworking with a wider net. You can overcome resistance more easily, the thought goes, when there’s someone else doing it at the same time. Or even if there’s someone else merely in the same space. I do a lot of cleaning and tidying and exercising when I’m taking on the phone with a friend. If I were to ever start a livestream channel, it’d probably be me organizing various rooms in my house.

You already, instinctively, know this. Body doubling is baked into shared work and learning environments. Maybe you go to a cafe to write or code, amid other caffeinated computer users. Friends on social media sometimes ask for people to come hang out while they pack for a move – not even help, just to hang out. Julia and I talked this week about scheduling time for tackling outdoor projects together – even they’re smaller projects that don’t require the both of us.

Other people make for a good brine. I’ve been working from home for the last ten-plus years and I’m just getting the hang of this.

In related news, I signed up for a new 10-week gardening class in the fall. And I’ve started drafting ideas for the next book.