When I am at the computer, wearing headphones, “in the zone”, I feel very agitated when something interrupts me. Maybe I was thinking deeply about a problem, or executing on a solution, or maybe just mid-sentence in a silly article. When people interrupt me, I make this involuntary “annoyed at you” face.

What’s worked: Texting! At Pivotal, most people would preface an in-person interruption with a Slack message. This helped preserve the flow of the person doing the work. Often people would say something like, free in 10 minutes! and then would respond “ok come on by!”

Text me - I probably have a text app open, and I’m intermittently checking it during “micro breaks” throughout the day. I sometimes turn notifications off, so I’m only checking the messenger during “real” breaks. What’s great about this is, if you text me to say hello, hang out, ask a question, etc… when I read your text, since i’m in break mode, I’ll probably be able to take a break with no fuss, and i’ll be in a better mood too!