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Man’s ‘friend shift’ gardening habit has people singing the praises of ‘body doubling’

“I wish Pooh were here. It’s so much more friendly with two.” — Piglet

Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne was onto something when he wrote that line, and not just because he tapped into the common human experience of boredom and loneliness. As a viral X thread shows, things are not just more friendly with two, but also more productive.

Eli McMann shared how his husband started scheduling his friends to come visit him in shifts while he gardens, and people are praising it as a genuinely effective life hack.

“My husband has been doing gardening all afternoon and he has been scheduling his friends in shifts to come and sit with him while he does it so he has company,” McCann wrote. “He is not asking for their help. He just wants them to be present. He has given each a watermelon popsicle.”

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He then shared photos of what he means, with his husband doing yard work and a friend just sitting nearby chatting with him.

They moved to the backyard.

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It’s such a brilliantly simple concept that serves multiple purposes. For one, it allows a person to get things done that need to be done while also having some social time. How often do we lament not having time to get together with friends because we have too much to do? Adding friends to our “things to do” that require mostly physical work and not focused attention and brain engagement is a great way to do both.

But there’s also the idea of “body doubling,” which people with ADHD use to help them stay on task. Body doubling might sound like a sci-fi/horror term, but it simply means having another person present while you do something you might normally struggle to stay engaged in. While there’s no research yet to prove that it works, people with ADHD swear by the effectiveness of simply having another person present while you work at something.

Commenters on Instagram shared:

“As someone with ADHD, I feel this so much. I can accomplish so much when someone is around, or when I find out someone’s coming over unexpectedly. 😆 It’s true, we need a village.”

“Body doubling for the win! It’s awesome that he has willing friends too.”

“Body doubling is the best way to get things done. My ex-husband often asks if I need him to come over and double for me. It’s the best. 🙌

“I love this! I’ve needed to go through a costly storage unit for years, but it’s creepy to go alone. So I haven’t done it. I don’t even want help. Just company 😆

“We do this in our house. Don’t need help with the chores, just moral support and company for a chat. ♥️

Other people shared how they’ve used this habit themselves to both get things done and nurture friendships.

“Growing up in Vermont my friends and I had a rule—each of us would do our own chores, then move on to the closest house of the friend still doing chores – this way we all got to hang out together while getting things done. We always jumped from house to house until we landed on the friend who was still bogged down in chores – that was Leighton, who lived on a small family farm, and had the heaviest workload tending to stock. We would power through his work until he was free and we could all fish together as group in the nearby stream. 35 years later and those guys are still my closest friends.”

“My mum in Aus and I in London, clean our kitchen together while on video call… Another way a mum can be there for her child ❤️😊🙏

“Yes! I’ve asked mom friends to come hang out while I fold so much laundry. Makes it so much more enjoyable.”

“This is why I talk to my best friend for about an hour a few times a month. Usually one of us has an annoying chore to do and need exactly this. Used to do it with my grandmums but they’ve passed 😢

“I do this too. Ask friends to hang out with me while I garden, or sometimes other tasks. It’s nice to have the company even if they’re just sitting there and chatting with me.”

Here’s to friends who make everything easier just by being there.

Source: Upworthy
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