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Top 7 Productivity Life Hacks from Elon Musk

Elon Musk has extremely developed intelligence, as well as huge ambitions, enthusiasm and inhuman performance. Few of us can boast the same combination of qualities. However, some of his effectiveness secrets can still be learned. So, here are 7 of the most useful ones.
be-in-the-loop - Top 7 Productivity Life Hacks from Elon Musk

Elon Musk has extremely developed intelligence, as well as huge ambitions, enthusiasm and inhuman performance. Few of us can boast the same combination of qualities. However, some of his effectiveness secrets can still be learned. So, here are 7 of the most useful ones. 

Start the Day with the Most Important Work

The CEO of the three companies — Mask heads Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink — always has a lot to do, so he starts the morning with the most important work. In his case, this is checking the email. First of all, he pays attention to those letters, the lack of an answer to which can stall the entire work of the company.

How to apply this tip: Identify the most important task for today and start with it. This should be the task, the effect of the completion of which will be the maximum.

Scheduling

be-in-the-loop - Top 7 Productivity Life Hacks from Elon Musk

Managing the three companies isn’t easy, and obviously, this requires very careful attention to planning. It is known that Musk breaks his working calendar into five-minute segments, and it is very difficult to find free time in it. First of all, Musk pays attention to the creation and design of new products, as well as to the production — it takes about 80% of his time.

How to apply this advice: Use not a to-do list, but a calendar — so you can immediately plan how much time you need for each project.

Use Feedback Loops

Musk is guided not only by his own opinion, but also listens to those around him, and also calls other entrepreneurs to do so. Yes, unaccustomed to this may seem unpleasant (especially criticism), but the benefits will outweigh everything. He also tries in every area to hire people who want and can say directly what they think.

How to apply this advice: Gather your team and ask everyone what they think about a particular product, some function, management style, or business processes. The same exercise can be done with friends. So you can understand your weaknesses to work on yourself.

Rely on Axioms

be-in-the-loop - Top 7 Productivity Life Hacks from Elon Musk

The axiom is a basic assumption that cannot be deduced from any other assumption, and thus it is something to rely on when considering a complex issue. Here is an example from the Musk: 

“What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.” Thus, instead of buying rockets for millions of dollars, Musk decided to buy cheap raw materials and produce rockets himself. So SpaceX was born.

How to apply this advice: Any problem should be reduced to basic statements.

  • If you face a problem, determine and record your current assumptions about a possible solution;
  • Bring the situation to the axioms, break it into elements and determine which of them are undoubtedly true;
  • Create a new solution – if, during the first two steps you have deconstructed the problem, you can now create new solutions from scratch.

Use the Mail

When Musk is not busy building rockets or making new electric cars, he writes letters. Often he makes a mailing throughout the company — there may be some important news, rules of communication with colleagues, a discussion of the company’s mission or advice on effective work.

Combine Tasks

Musk practices multitasking: whenever possible, he groups tasks, for example, responding to mail or meeting with someone at lunch.

How to apply this advice: To succeed, it is important to properly group tasks. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Write notes to the blog for the week ahead in one sitting;
  • Take care of processing all emails, messages in Slack, missed phone calls and other messages at once;
  • At the same time update several related tables or other documents.

To find in your schedule the tasks that should be grouped, try to record all the cases during the week. If the solution is ineffective the first time, try regrouping things differently.

Evolve

Elon Musk is always dissatisfied with himself. Despite the huge achievements, he knows what he has to do and where to grow in various areas. Any problem always has a better, faster or cheaper solution. Musk says: “Failure here is the normal thing. If you have no setbacks, then you are not an innovator.”

How to apply this advice:

Everything is simple and difficult at the same time. Constantly study, be persistent, don’t be afraid of difficulties, learn from mistakes, appreciate feedback and acknowledge others’ merits.

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