When I was a kid I went to sleep with at least 20 stuffed animals carefully arranged over my body. In the case of an intruder or monster coming into my room during the night, the animals would of course protect me. This allowed me to sleep soundly knowing I was safe. Similarly, when I have to do things that I hate now, I find that sharing the pain with someone or something can make it slightly easier.
Shadowing is a method often used in organizing. This is when another person is with the one organizing, but might not being doing anything except being there. For example, accounting is my least favorite thing to do. To get it done, another organizer and I meet for a few hours. She works on her least favorite tasks while I do my accounting. Technically, we can do this independently, but scheduling these get-togethers allocates time to the task. Having another person with me means I stick to the job too. It can be very helpful for staying accountable to our to-do lists.
While it is often done with another person, inanimate objects can be great stand-ins. I admit that I have always had a bit of a crush on Hans Solo. Now, if I am really dreading some administrative work, Han Solo hangs out with me. Of course, I know that having the Hans Solo figurine sitting on my computer doesn’t change anything, but it does lighten the mood and add a little bit of silliness to the tedious tasks I dislike most.
Now, my son falls asleep with Rufus, our big black lab on his bed. Honesty, I don’t think the dog would do much more in the way of protecting him any more than my stuffed animals would have protected me (he might ask an intruder to scratch his belly, but that is about as intimidating as he gets) but Rufus brings comfort to Elliot, which brings comfort to me!