One of my favorite high school teachers once said “life is the interruptions… not the space inbetween." I love that quote and have often reminded myself of it when life throws curveballs at me. 

That being said, interruptions while working are f*ing annoying.

And given that many startups work amongst open floorplans, allow me to present the headphone rule:

The headphone rule states that any person wearing headphones while stationed at their desk or in another such working environment or mode shall be considered "in the zone.” It is further understood that this “zone” or “state of flow” is precious, and shall be respected by any and all members of, as well as visitors to, said working environment as if there is a giant sign that reads “DO NOT DISTURB” floating above said focused worker.

Any attempts to interrupt said worker shall be punishable by law (and/or a middle finger, death stare or kick in the balls). 

If an individual is in dire need of the attention of said worker, it is permissible to IM or email and await their approval to approach. Hovering into eyesight is permissible, however, there shall be no sensitivities for being ignored.

Headphones + a hat, sunglasses and/or hoodie might as well mean “Warning: Approach with Severe Caution.”

Finally, the headphone rule holds especially true for engineers, whose imaginary warning sign should read “DO NOT F*ING DISTURB EVAR IF I IZ WRITING TEH CODEZ.”

Yours in productivity,


Want more proof here? Check out this article

UPDATE: I just bought and am planning on posting the rules there for easy fwding in the future. Anyone who wants to help design/write the page - get in touch… through email, or IM first, of course.  ;)