How is Elon Musk able to work so much?

Learn behind the scenes of how Elon Musk is able to work so much in today’s article.

Rizvi Haider
5 min readJul 23, 2020

How is Elon Musk able to work so much?

Who is Elon Musk? Ask anyone this question today and you would be amazed to know how many people are familiar with the guy. The multi-billionaire who is behind the success of companies like PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX, and has founded several side ventures, like The Boring Company and Neuralink is now working on a new form of transportation system by the name of Hyperloop. Just last month, SpaceX accomplished another feat by launching Dragon Crew Demo-2, a manned test-flight, to the International Space Station after nine years.

You can love him or hate him, but it is hard to disagree that Musk is a very productive guy. He has worked through near simultaneous bankruptcies of SpaceX and Tesla as well as frequent family scuffles along with other struggles in the past, but he has since emerged out to be stronger and more efficient than ever.

Related article: Elon Musk pulls 80- to 90-hour work weeks — here’s how that impacts the body and the mind

The question is, how is it possible for one guy to be the CEO of two giant companies worth over $70 billion and manage several demanding organizations simultaneously when most of us are finding it difficult to take care of just one? It is not rocket science.

Below are some of the ways Elon Musk is able to work round the clock and deal with effectively stress:

1. He schedules a lot

The number one thing to remain productive throughout the day, week or month is to adhere to a daily schedule. Elon Musk does it too, although for him, the first thing to do is to go through his tight schedule of tasks and start with the first one right away, unlike most of us who, without scrolling through twitter and Instagram for twenty minutes, cannot get anything done.

Being the Chief Executive of two major companies is not easy and requires undivided attention, which is why his week is divided among SpaceX and Tesla equally. If something important needs his attention, he saves time by getting the work brought to him. Another thing that sets him apart is that he has his daily planner broken down into 5-minute tasks which help optimize his schedule.

2. He does things he cares about

Doing something you are passionate about is the key element behind success since it takes the work out of the equation and all you do is enjoy every moment, for the rest of your life. Same is the case with Tesla’s founder Elon Musk.

He chooses his goals very carefully and most of what he does are the problems he is obsessed with solving. Take PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX for example. Nobody can sustain that amount of work pressure unless without loving what you do, so even when times are tough, you can constantly remind yourself the reason why you got into it in the first place. When he was asked about how he get things done without breaking down, to which he replied in the lines of taking the pain away and making sure you care about what you want to achieve.

3. He continuously increases his knowledge base

Having a basic understanding of how things work and which things go with which is crucial to manage a team of professionals who work day and night solving problems and driving solutions as a result high-tech research and development methods. Elon Musk is no different.

He is one of the few company executives out there who actually understand the science behind the fancy self-driving cars and powerful rockets that his two companies design and manufacture regularly.

A clear knowledge of physics, mathematics and engineering allows Musk to follow easily when his engineers bring technical problems, and this understanding also enables him to inspire his design teams to come up with innovative ideas. Reusable rockets are one of the many examples where his array of knowledge shatter the claims of several “experts” who believed the project was impossible to accomplish.

4. He combines tasks that can go together

Knowing which tasks go along together can save a lot of time in a day that is otherwise jam-packed with activities. There is no denying that Elon Musk puts in 18-hour days, but it does not mean that his schedule is haphazardly organized. He makes the most of his hours by combining various activities that are already broken down into 5-minute slots. The billionaire is known to combine his lunch with business meetings and responding to important emails. Similarly, when you are working on a document or a spreadsheet, it will not hurt to take a few important calls simultaneously.

5. He keeps his employees prepared

Musk regularly inspires his employees to remain prepared and whenever he walks into a conference or a weekly meeting, he expects everyone to be ready for every question he has for them. This also demonstrates that in addition to being prepared, his staff is also highly invested towards the goals he has for the company.

Having a team of talented people around who are productive and who frequently update themselves with technology is the key to getting answers without having to wait so that more time is translated into actions rather on unproductive meetings.

Originally published at https://www.rizvihaider.com on July 23, 2020.

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