What is the headphones rule?

Imagine this… You’re working on a task with focus and have just gained momentum. Your brain is fully engaged, you are beginning to get immersed and you feel a little bit of excitement as you make progress. And then..

Notification / Pop-up: (It’s your co-worker who wants to have a ‘quick chat’)

Two seconds is all it takes to kill our momentum, the damage is done! Picking up where you left off is a gross overstatement in situations like these. We must re-focus, re-immerse and regain our momentum. And before we know it, the day comes to an end right after our productivity.

The true cost of a “quick chat” is way higher than we realize. It can lead to exhaustion, stress and high chances of making errors. The problem is that no one talks about these interruptions, some in order to be polite and others just unaware. This is where The Headphones Rule comes in -

When you are in a flow, put your headphones on. Think of it like a red flag on your desk or a big red sign that says STOP or TTYL.

And if you ever find yourself on the other side of the table, pause and think of the impact that you would make if you interrupted someone else. Is it really worth it? If not, make a note of it for later or send them a slack message. Wait until they’re ready for you.