I ran across this recently and thought I would share it.  It’s quite true that non-geeks don’t get it when it comes to productivity for programmers.

To most of the world, a simple interruption or a 5-minute meeting won’t be that big of a deal. you can pick up where you left off easily.  But to those of us who are creators, coders, artists, programmers, or any other geek profession, a simple interruption can completely destroy our creative process and take more than just a few minutes to recover.

The picture below illustrates it perfectly.

As a creator of content, this is more accurate of how our day goes.  We aren’t productive 100% all day long.  There are times that nothing happens at all. It takes a spark of inspiration to make something, and when we get interrupted, it can be very difficult to remember exactly what we were doing at that time and can take a while to pick up again.

Plus, even when we have been working on a project for a while, there are times we run dry for a bit mid-project. It doesn’t mean we aren’t working, it means our brains need time to process what we’ve done so far, and regenerate to be able to create more.

So, please, non-geek friends, if we say we are working, if we say we are busy, don’t ask us “whatcha working on?”  Don’t interrupt us for idle conversation or something not related to our work.  Let us be.  We will tell you when we are able to talk again, and we will probably be more than proud and willing to describe what we are working on when we are ready to take that break.