This '2-Minute Rule' Will Help You Brainstorm the Best Ideas, Says a Hedge Fund Manager Who's Worth $15.4 Billion It's a lot easier than you might think.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Constant interruptions at work can lead to exhaustion, higher stress levels and increased error rates.
  • Effective communication is crucial for the ideation process and for arriving at world-changing ideas.
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When it comes to communication in the workplace, there are few things more frustrating than constant interruptions. Yet 40% of people report experiencing more than 10 interruptions per day — and 15% report more than 20 — according to a survey conducted before the pandemic.

Frequent interruptions at work are not only annoying and counterproductive but can also lead to higher rates of exhaustion, stress-induced ailments and a doubling of error rates, research shows.

Image Credit: Taylor Hill | Getty Images. Ray Dalio.

Related: 8 Tips for Finding Focus and Nixing Distractions

Naturally, communication is essential when it comes to the ideation process. And according to the codirectors of executive education at Stanford's Institute of Design, arriving at world-changing ideas quickly requires alternating between individual and collaborative idea generation.

But how do you ensure the loudest person in the room — or the one most likely to interrupt another — doesn't derail a meeting or creative session?

Ray Dalio, investor and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, swears by a strategy he calls the "2-minute rule."

Related: Why We Are Wasting Worker Potential in the Modern Workplace

Dalio, who boasts a net worth of $15.4 billion, per Forbes, shared his perspective in a post on X.

"The two-minute rule specifies that you have to give someone an uninterrupted two minutes to explain their thinking before jumping in with your own," Dalio wrote. "This ensures that everyone has time to fully crystallize and communicate their thoughts without worrying they will be misunderstood or drowned out by a louder voice."

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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