I assume all of you have heard of Elon Musk. The guy who is the CEO of two companies simultaneously. That makes us wonder, “How does he do it?” And the answer is straightforward. It’s productivity.
Elon Musk puts a lot of effort into productivity. Still, running two engaging companies like Tesla and SpaceX is no easy task for an average human. This is what makes him an exceptionally skilled professional.
Now the question comes, how to be as productive as Elon Musk. That is what we are here for. We reveal some of the things Elon Musk does to be more productive.
Let’s get straight to the point.
Become productive like Elon Musk
Here, we will discuss some activities that Elon Musk does in his daily life. These are things that make him a much more productive guy than others.
But your daily life isn’t like Elon Musk. Just knowing them might not have an impact in your life. So, we will provide you a guide to applying them in your daily life as well.
Tackle the critical works at the beginning of the day
Musk operates three or more well-known companies at a time. So, it’s expected to have his hands full with work every morning.
As he has to go through a lot and still stay on top daily. He takes up the critical works in hand before doing anything else. Such as dealing with emails requiring his responses for further progress. This way, he unblocks the work of others.
Usually, his day starts at 7 a.m. sharp. Then he responds to those emails for about half an hour. He is meticulous in filtering his activities. His prime concern is to always focus on the essential parts. Things that seem to be not much of importance are left to do later.
This is the very first thing you can follow to be more productive.
Now let’s go through the fact of how you will apply this in your life.
It doesn’t matter what you do. You will always see some things are more important than others. But you might ask, “How would I know which one is more important?”. Just ask yourself this “Which of the following task effects my work the most?”.
For example, I am a content writer. My essential task is to write quality content as much as I can. So, I wake up in the morning and get on to it. I set a target of writing 1000 words. And make sure not to move on to something else before I complete this one.
Now you find out your most important task and start the day with that.
Get feedback from yourself
Musk goes through a lot of stress because of working at various locations. So, optimizing his time gives him the best results. But that doesn’t mean just completing work and moving on.
He puts importance in feedback. In his words, continually thinking about doing things in a better way, and questioning yourself is crucial. Getting feedback about your work from yourself is the best way to improve — especially negative feedback.
He doesn’t only include his feedbacks; he encourages others to get negative feedback as well. This may seem hurtful, but you get the most benefit from negative feedback.
His focus on hiring is to get the people who can give him constant and truthful feedback without fear. This eventually leads to efficiency and quick implementation.
You can apply this to your regular life as well. Not only your professional life also in your personal life.
For instance, while getting an opinion on a particular decision or product at your workplace as them for negative feedback. Instead of asking what’s good about the decision, ask them what they dislike.
Before approaching anyone else to spend some time with yourself, you should get your own feedback first. Ask yourself about all the negatives of that particular decision. Then get to others for further feedback. You might find out things you overlooked.
You can incorporate this in your personal life, as well. For example, if you have self-doubts, then ask your friends what they don’t like about you. Work on it and get a better version of yourself.
Reasoning from first principles
Musk suggests having first principles rather than depending on past experiences of yours or maybe others. The question is, what the first principle is.
Well, the first principle is an assumption that you make by looking at the basics of something. You come up with your own thought about the matter. This is your first principle.
According to Musk, it’s much better to reason from your first principle than relying on analogy. His company SpaceX was born from this very idea.
Musk asked himself what a rocket made of is. Then found out the materials and their price. The material cost turned out to be only two percent of the cost of an actual rocket.
So, instead of buying a rocket, he bought the raw materials of a rocket. Later on, he built the rockets himself in his own company, which is now known as SpaceX.
Applying this to your life can open new doors for you because it makes you think differently.
By using this tactic, you can get to the root of a problem and break it down to the basics. Then eventually solve it step by step.
First of all, find out your assumption about a problem. Then get to the basic facts of the problem. And later try reasoning up from there.
Finally, come up with new solutions for the basics you have broken down to.
Musk likes to keep things in his own terms. Which is why he prefers email as a mode of communication. He says he loves email. He tries to have asynchronous communication.
This makes it hard for people to reach him. Usually, people outside his company don’t get to contact him as he uses and obscure email address for work purposes only.
This helps him avoid all the unnecessary distraction. And focus on the work concerning his companies and nothing else.
Being able to apply to this to your life can make you much more productive you ever were.
Progress gets certain when you perform deep work with full concentration. This eventually means living asynchronously. Because you will be communicating with others on your own terms, avoiding all kinds of interruptions. None of it will come in between your work.
Start by turning off all forms of notifications. They are the most distracting part of the gadgets you use. In case of emergencies, people will choose to call over texts of emails. Check your notifications only when you need to.
Don’t agree with meetings unless you are sure of getting something out of it. Or the meeting being important than your work. This will save up a lot of your time.
If possible, then work remotely as you will be able to get rid of all the outer distractions. This will help you focus on your work. Which much helps in becoming more productive.
In short, take steps to reduce distractions as much as you can to make progress in your work.
Musk is just fond of emails. He is always there, communicating through emails. And the messages aren’t those formal letters. They are very informal and fun to read.
His messages are very much clear to the point and concise. He uses simple words, nothing fancy in the emails. So, it gets easy to communicate with others. Also, it creates a friendly image in the reader’s mind.
He is continuously in touch with his company through emails. He shares his thoughts about the companies, visions and missions, guidelines for the more productive outcome and updates as well.
Musk believes that when people know about the goal, they tend to work better. That knowledge makes them eager to work.
It is not just about email, though. Musk has excellent capability of communicating in real as well. He is excellent at speaking publicly. He can make difficult concepts sound so easy for the audience.
There is a trick he often uses. It is talking in the present tense about the visions. This leads the listener to think like the future is now.
Everyone tells you communication is vital in professional life. But no one tells you how to apply it in your life. So here we show you how.
Keep things short. If you can explain you’re thought in one sentence and it’s understandable, then do it. You don’t need to overdo anything. Know the intent of your email.
Use simple language like you are having a conversation. And before you try to make someone else understand anything, to make sure to have complete knowledge of the topic yourself.
Musk tries to do multi-tasking as often as he can. Because without this skill managing three companies will be quite impossible. He combines multiple tasks throughout his day.
For example, he is reading out the emails while having breakfast. Or I am spending time with his children while attending calls.
He has got no other way to get his job done other than multi-tasking. This is the most critical skill required for better productivity, according to him.
Now multi-tasking doesn’t mean to do it all while you can. There are some things to consider, as well.
Before you apply this method make sure to follow this-
You can’t just take up two different kinds of work at the same time. Because that way, your brain won’t be able to cope up with the work environment.
Eventually, the results of both tasks are pretty bad.
Firstly, find out the tasks you have throughout the day. Then make a group of similar ones.
The tasks requiring the same mindset will be put into one group. This is known as batching. This enables your brain to focus on a single type of job.
For example, you can tackle all the tasks related to communication at one sitting. Like you can make calls and at the same time, check your emails. Basic tasks like eating can be done in between these.
Following a schedule
Being the chief of three big companies isn’t an easy task. Elon Musk is always chased by time in this regard. He has to optimize his time to get the most efficiency out of his work.
For this very reason, he uses a detailed schedule every day. He breaks up his whole daily schedule in 5-minute increments for various tasks. He uses an 80/20 method for managing his time.
Where 80 percent of his time is used for actual work done, he does all his thinking and planning on that 20 percent time of his day.
All this planning lets him get more jobs done in his schedule. This is known as Elon Musk 5-minute rule to many people
Productivity is calculated by dividing your output with time. So, applying time management is as important as increasing your production.
Instead of making a to-do list, divide your day into small parts. Try getting things done within those time limits. Make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Keep every task within your schedule.
Have a growing attitude
Even to this day, Musk isn’t satisfied with his achievements. Because of the belief of always having room for improvement. There’s still a better way to do things is what he thinks.
According to Musk, having this attitude helps significantly in productivity. In his words, you should always think that you are doing it wrong and set a goal to be less corrupt. Repeat this time after time.
You might fail, but that means you are trying to get better. Having this mindset will get you a long way, and you are sure to succeed.
For this to work, you will need to take up failure as the progress of each day. Giving up is never a choice here.
Try learning about the fact continuously. Keep getting better with persistence. Take up challenges and embrace failures. Be open to criticism. Work on those feedbacks. Sooner or later, you will see you have grown as a person. That’s when success will come.
Well, these are some traits of all successful people around the world.
But there are some specific things, and Musk does that make him the productive guy he is now. Let’s take a look at those specifics-
Things that only Elon Musk does to be productive
These are some actions that might seem a bit harsh. But when you think about them, they make good sense. Musk follows these actions and gets way more done than average people.
1. Unbothered about business plans:
Musk doesn’t seem concern over business plans. He puts some of his visionary mindset of a business. Then he leaves all the operational details to his co-workers.
Where most of the CEO’s tend to get more involved in the planning process, Musk stays away from all that. Instead,he sets goals for his business and thinks of better ways to improvise.
2. Avoiding pointless conversations:
Musk cuts of conversations that seem a waste of time to him. This might seem a bit rude. But it does work.
According to him, forcing some to a useless or unnecessary conversion is much ruder than cutting off the conversations.
By doing this, he can save a lot of time. Also, it helps his mind to be from other peoples’ irrelevant thoughts.
A calm mind with organized thought can be instrumental in productivity.
3. Walking out on useless meetings:
Just like avoiding pointless conversations, Musk avoids unnecessary meetings as well. And it’s not only about him. He encourages his employees to do the same.
If he pays attention to meetings, it will take up a lot of his time. Also, his brain will get stuffed with thoughts. That’s why the refusal to attend meetings works excellent for his productivity.
4. Dodging foolish regularities:
In any drawback, Musk doesn’t try to defend himself. He admits to the mistakes and moves on.
Usually, other CEOs try to cover up any disaster. This is done to avoid bad PR. But Musk states what it is.
For him, covering up any issue can take up time and cause a mental burden.
5. Deciding rather than thinking:
In contrast to other people, Musk focuses on action more than thinking. And it’s not something done in ignorance. The decisions are proven to be right most of the time.
This skill allows him to put his brain into developing other ideas. Saves up a lot of time, and it increases productivity.
These actions aren’t something to practice daily. These are ideas and ways you adapt according to the situations. These might get you to the Elon Musk efficiency level.
This was our take on how to be as productive as Elon Musk. You can try adopting these habits and follow his actions. With time you will see the changes yourself. Surely these aren’t easy to take up but not impossible either. Good luck.
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