Hailed for his vision and drive, Elon Musk is headed for the stars. But how does he manage to balance his overflowing duties and be successful at the same time? What is his secret to time management?
Time management is a skill like any other, and it takes practice – and Elon Musk is no exception. Similar to other ultra-successful entrepreneurs and businesswoman, he understands how to prioritize and maximize his daily schedule to get the most out of his day.
In the book Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is shaping our Future, author Ashlee Vance relates how Musk begins most mornings with at least thirty minutes of exercise: it’s something he “strictly adheres to and never skips” and is a reminder to him that merely working hard stuffs, is not the same as pushing yourself and achieving the goals you set.
Musk also structures and streamlines his day into blocks. He normally accomplishes a lot between 7 am and 10 pm. Every morning he looks at his calendar and drills down on 2-3 priorities that need his attention. He also dives deep into pressing tasks and gets a better understanding of them and pressures teammates to reach personal milestones.
The Tesla CEO is also flexible when it comes to adapting and changing his daily schedule when or if needed, and he has little issue pushing the boundaries and pushing himself and those around him. Musk believes that, “If something’s not breaking or close to breaking, I try to be flexible. To get the most out of your day, it’s important to be open to shifts in priority.”
In his never-ending strive for success and progress, Musk has developed a habit of looking for ways he can do more, better, faster. Another key factor of his success is using weekends to get ahead. Musk deliberately ‘works ahead’ during the weekend, by planning strategies and launching initiatives during that time.
Musk’s commitment and enthusiasm is clearly contagious, for those around him. Perhaps one of his secret weapons of success is working with people who can keep up with him. He trusts them and gives them the space to demonstrate their talent and learn, while also providing valuable feedback.
Musk’s time management is certainly effective. He is entrepreneurial in his approach towards success, and is also known for daring to take risks and adapting quickly to new challenges.
Effect of technology
Technology is both a helping and hindering force when it comes to managing time. It has enabled individuals like Musk to expand their business’ seamlessly; connecting and keeping up to date with their international branches and employees. But the same cannot be said when it comes to the availability of actual quality time.
It’s difficult to shut off from work and remain focused on anything else in between. Devices can be distracting and send us down a never ending rabbit hole of content – this temptation is further fuelled with modern design elements that serve to captivate.
The amount of choices and to-do’s are multiplying, making it more challenging for individuals to focus on what matters. Algorithms and multiplatforms are competing for our attention and it’s easy to be side-tracked and stuck in a loop of newsfeeds, emails and other notification.
Business moguls like Elon Musk have to be conscious of this and find ways to use technology to their advantage. This may include customizing their devices, apps and social media platforms to be as useful, efficient and interested as possible.
Grouping and scheduling tasks into blocks is one of the most helpful strategies that Musk utilizes when it comes to staying focused. By assigning time periods to each task, it is easier to get the job done efficiently and precisely.
Another strategy to staying focused is being organized and having a plan that is followed regularly. Whether it’s through an appointed software like ToDoist and Remember the Milk, or even just an organized to-do list, having an overview of tasks and deadlines helps to keep organized and present.
Intentional breaks are also helpful to prevent burnout and ensure creativeness and performance stay at their optimal levels. Elon Musk is known for appreciating downtime and ensuring he has a regular schedule for breaks which consists of hobbies such as reading, music and nature.
Creating boundaries between work and personal time is one of the most crucial aspects of successful time management. While there is a need to ‘work hard and smart’, it is also important to spend time with family, friends and on hobbies, to ensure that work is not the only priority.
Musk is known to systematize his life, to make sure that everything is in a balance, both in terms of sound mind and body. He also has been known of getting a lot of sleep, especially during crunch times and also keeps away from excessive drinking and caffeine consumption.
By keeping healthy habits, Musk is able to stay present and focused, ensuring all of his roles as CEO of multiple companies, as well as being a family man and passionate hobbyist, are executed as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
For mulit-billionaire Elon Musk, time management boils down to intentional blocks, hobbies, healthy habits and being organized. The tech mogul believes that a successful career is not just about working hard, but finding that balance between life and work, and allocating the right amount of time for each activity.
By allocating his time correctly, Elon is able to maximize his opportunities and get the most out of every day in his life.