CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., SpaceX, and Neuralink, Elon Musk, has reached the pinnacle of success, both in monetary terms and, even more importantly, contribution to society. Though he has created multibillion-dollar companies, he wakes up at 7 am and spends his day in 5-minute increments for 18 hours. His time management isn’t the entire story of his meteoric success, though. That story is told through the way he thinks. Elon Musk is the ultimate doer and thinker. He has blended these skill sets into a roaring fire that may consume the world—in a good way. His vision, drive, work ethic, and gall to achieve whatever he imagines is astounding. Here are eight ways you can push your potential to its maximum.
Rather than reinventing the wheel or limiting yourself to what people say is possible, create your vision from the fundamentals you are given. Dare to create what hasn’t even been thought of. When you start with a first principle, you build a basic assumption of truth after disregarding anything you think you knew. By starting this way, you can focus on the potential of every basic resource you are given.
Reasoning from a first principle highlights the need to imagine each resource as a blank slate. For instance, if you don’t know what a gadget does, how many ways will you try to manipulate it? Each resource has multiple possible functions and it is your job to uncover as many as you are able and combine them into a clear and concise vision. After you have built your reasoning, you’ll need to project into the future and decide if the end result will work or not. Don’t worry if no one is on the other side of your vision, that’s why you exist. To create something that has never existed before.
Using your logic shouldn’t stop at the conception of your idea, it should continue throughout the creation process. After you have concluded the idea could work, you must test it over and over again, track its success rate, and adjust as needed. Eventually, you will discover the magic ratio and find the success you are looking for. Even when success rolls in, always look for any improvements.
When you first begin your workday, decide which tasks will provide the most impact and complete those. If it’s not absolutely critical, leave it for later. To figure out your most critical tasks, utilize the Pareto Principle, also called the 80/20 rule. This states that 80% of the impact garnered from your efforts is from 20% of your work. Find that 20% and complete it when you wake.
When building your business, gather feedback at all times. Look for detailed feedback and implement it where appropriate. Constantly ask yourself how you can improve. Where can you improve customer service, your employees’ work life, or your skills? The more you improve, the easier it will be to adjust your business to meet the ever-changing needs of your customers. Cultivate short feedback loops that will lead to a better product and increased efficiency and implementation.
Utilize email and texts for most of your communication. Neither of these requires an immediate response. Because the messages are waiting for you but not demanding an immediate answer, you will have more time to focus on needed work rather than answering every phone call that comes in. With this method in place, you’ll know that a phone call is genuinely an emergency.
More tips: Turn off all notifications on any gadgets you use, decline meetings unless they have a clear agenda and you know the most likely result, and work remotely or request a private office, if you can. Offices are prone to noise and distractions which place strain on your brain’s filtering mechanisms.
When your company becomes extremely successful, you may want to implement a quirky email address so few people outside of your company can contact you. Constant interruptions waste precious minutes of your time which can’t be recycled.
When writing emails, strive to use as few words as possible. Not only does this save you time, it also makes your message easier to understand. Just like you shouldn’t hog the talking space unless you are a presenter, you shouldn’t hog the email space.
– Keep it short by editing out unneeded words. Don’t use vague words like “I feel”, “perhaps”, etc. These are passive, waste time, and create confusion.
– Know what you want before sending.
– Bold important items and attach the responsible person’s name to the task.
– Add a bulleted summary to the top of an email if the email chain is large.
Personally, I skip the body of the email altogether, especially when confirming details. I place all essential information in the subject line and sign my name so the recipient knows they don’t have to open the email.
Pertaining to language, an excellent trick to build your vision is to use the present tense. By discussing your future goals as if they have already happened, you make it seem as if the future is hurtling towards the present. Trust Elon, your listeners will like that.
Completing tasks that are in a similar location is an example of batching. This creative multitasking method is easier on your brain and leads to increased efficiency and productivity. If you create your schedule of tasks for the next week or answer all communications in one sitting, you are using a similar section of the brain, but getting different aspects of a task done. If you are a writer, batch all of your writing and then batch the editing. It’s a lot more efficient than switching back and forth.
Your ambition is an amazing thing, really, but adding your family to your day’s to-do list is crucial to your potential. Schedule undivided time with your loved ones and friends. They are an excellent source of morale, stress reduction, and joy. Remember that this time won’t bankrupt your rising business, but it will remind your family how much you enjoy them. An hour, at least, is a good rule for each day. Building your business is for yourself, the world, and your family. Don’t leave them out of the equation. This isn’t the Elon Musk way but I’m adding it anyway.
There are many productivity methods Elon Musk uses to streamline his tasks and communication. They work for him and they might work for you. But, if they don’t, adjust and try something else.