4 Recommendations By Elon Musk To Supercharge Your Productivity

Derick David

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Elon Musk, the Technoking of Tesla and Imperator of Mars is one of the most crazily influential people in the world.

Do I still need to tell you who he is and what he does aside from memeposting on Twitter?

As a visionary thinker, what he achieved through decades is unprecedented. He never accepted no for an answer and he always found a way to break the wall of boundaries. His success doesn’t come easy.

For starters, it has now become public knowledge that he often sleeps at either Tesla or SpaceX offices when deemed necessary.

Although I don’t recommend following his 90-hour workweeks, I do strongly advise following his framework of boosting your ability to produce effectively.

Of course, let’s not forget the fact that there are many other factors that have helped him in his success, including his capital, partners, Twitter account, employees, and investors.

But in particular, Musk has also become well-known because of a number of unique productivity strategies that he applies to get more things done.

The following are six important ones that I’d love to share with you.

Avoid meetings as possible

Ah, the meetings. We all know that meetings, at first sight, seem to be a productive way of spending your day. Right?

As a startup company, there are certain times where meetings move the needle. However, it doesn’t contribute direct work to your company.

Meetings can make or break your company. The earlier you realize this, the better. So, be mindful when scheduling meetings and make it your highest priority to only do so when urgent or when it helps your company move forward.

Otherwise, it’s fake work and it will be too late when you know it.

Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get rid of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience in which case keep them very short.

Say no to frequent meetings

Unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter like fundraising or pivot, there’s no need for a meeting that could’ve been well communicated through your internal communications system

Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.

Do you know what else Musk, Jobs, or Bezos have in common? They walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as they realize it’s waste of time.

Time is money, use it wisely. Avoid meetings that could've been a simple chat or email and more importantly, avoid time wasters.

Apply 80/20 to work on the most valuable task

As the CEO of more than three companies including Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, Elon Musk’s biggest day-to-day challenges are what he should prioritize in doing.

When asked about this, he says that he always does the work that produces the highest value for the company. Or whatever is it that is the most valuable thing to do in a given period of time.

How to identify your most important task?

Use the 80/20 rule.

  1. Start doing the task that has the highest priority
  2. Then, proceed down the ladder
  3. Feel the satisfaction of being productive

Then, let the other people handle the rest of the work.

Elon starts his day with his most critical work. That could mean dealing with emails or meeting with the engineering team or hiring for a senior executive role.

In his own words at the USC Commencement Speech:

“Focus on signal over noise. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better.”

For this to be possible, you also need to hire the right competent people around you, so you can delegate some of the work to them.

No acronyms!

One important quality of a great leader and manager is your ability to communicate efficiently. How many times have we seen people that keep using acronyms or jargon because they think it’s cool and okay to use?

Countless. However, Musk is strongly against the idea of using acronyms that requires further understanding from the receiving end.

Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software, or processes.

Avoid acronyms that:
1. Requires further explanation
2. Destroys the purpose of the message
3. Confuses the receiver

In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication.

So, watch out for your acronyms.

Master the art of communication

Probably the hardest task to ever do is communicating properly, efficiently, and effectively. There are only a few selected people in a given company that can communicate well and most of the time, they hold leadership positions in the company.

In plain sight, this seems completely easy, but that’s where the illusion comes from. The idea that we know how to communicate, so we don’t pay attention to how we do it anymore.

For example, communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”.

Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.

Why?

You always want to message to reach the other end in the fastest way possible.

Whether you are building a startup or managing a corporation, you have to treat everything as time-sensitive. This means that when you want something done, you want it as soon as possible. Not tomorrow, this weekend, or next week.

So, that’s it! These are productivity recommendations by the billionaire founder that can help supercharge your ability to get work done.

Please, feel free to leave comments below for thoughts, suggestions, and even feedbacks.

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