How to be productive as Elon Musk

Productivity Arata! Today we will examine in detail the real example of an entrepreneur who has been increasingly admired in business circles. Elon Musk has simultaneously assumed leadership roles in a space exploration company (SpaceX), an innovative automotive company (Tesla) and also a solar energy company. He is the father of five children and has several other responsibilities.

1. Multitasking improves productivity when done correctly.

If you have been following the work of Arata Academy for a while, you know that our Productivity Ninja course has existed for many years and has thousands of satisfied customers.

And all these years, one of the strengths we build in Productivity Ninja is powerful concentration, and we do that by reducing multitasking. Specifically, we control what is harmful multitasking. We avoid doing too many things at the same time because we achieve better quality when we concentrate our efforts.

In last week’s episode of our series, we talked about the right way to multitask to achieve great results. And in different interviews and materials documenting the work of Elon Musk, we realize that he also uses the right form of multitasking. He accepts the price of performing multiple tasks in order to develop various projects.

2. You need to pay the price for your choices.

For those who say they would like to run multiple large projects just like Elon Musk, the first question to ask is: would you be willing to pay the price for this?

To cope with the great responsibilities between the space company and car company, Elon Musk uses several multitasking techniques. He sends e-mails while walking to the bathroom or riding in the car. He eats lunch in five minutes during a meeting and even answers emails while playing with his children.

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In this aspect, he has been widely criticized by the public and even by fans of his work. In social networks, people started attacking Musk, wondering why he has children if he answers emails while playing with them.

Musk admits that he doesn’t see enough of his children, but he feels able to work while playing with them and even says that children are amazing and everyone should have them. Musk thinks his children are already at an age where they do not need his full attention, and so he can answer emails while playing with them.

If he did not work while playing with the children, he would not be able to get things done, because his challenges are huge. That is, he knows that there is a personal sacrifice, and he decided to pay the price to get where he is.

The sacrifice also happens on personal and health levels. In some difficult times, Elon Musk worked so much that his wife thought he could have a heart attack at any time. She says he had a face that resembled death.

3. Prepare to sacrifice sleep.

Reading the biography of Elon Musk, we see that to face so many challenges he reduced the hours for sleep. In more difficult times, when his companies went through crises, it was normal for him to work a hundred hours a week, meaning almost fifteen hours of work every day. Today he has a lighter pace: 80-90 hours per week.

That is about 45 hours dedicated to each of the two companies, which in his opinion is not enough.

Elon Musk confesses that the time he worked 100 hours a week was very painful. The difficulty and pain of working so many hours increased exponentially. It was not a linear discomfort. He went through the worst time during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Every day was horrible: he worked absolutely all waking hours, seven days a week, and when he slept, he dreamed of work.

Today his companies are in a better condition, and he sleeps about six hours per night.

4. You must have motivation.

Obviously to go this route, you must have motivation and energy.

On the one hand, Musk would rely upon caffeine to give him energy for the day-to-day. He used to consume eight cans of Diet Coke a day, along with several cups of coffee. There came a point when he was so electric that he began to feel he was losing his peripheral vision. In recent interviews he says he has cut back to a daily maximum of two cans of Diet Coke and two coffees.

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Musk’s close friends say that his true motivation in making so many sacrifices and taking such risks is to save humanity. With SpaceX he is advancing space exploration, finding new homes for the human race. And the mission of Tesla is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Here we have the concept of purpose that we’ve covered both within the Productivity Ninja course and also some free videos on our YouTube channel. You can see more in this link.

5. You must gear your mindset to achievement.

I’ll give you two extreme mindsets. In one you dwell on the energy you expend to accomplish things. You think, “What a terrible day—it was exhausting to do so much work!”

The other mindset is one that seeks accomplishments to feel good. You feel that you are doing something worthwhile according to your master plan. If you pass a single day without feeling that you accomplished a great achievement, you will be dissatisfied. The energy and motivation are just to accomplish things. And for that, you must have a very clear vision of what you want to accomplish and why it is important. If you have this clarity, you will feel good doing this, and it is this mindset that will make you move forward. Other people will give up. They will feel miserable. They may feel like victims of exploitation who deserve a rest.

6. Your continued improvement.

It is important to seek continued improvement. Without it there is no growth.

The most important tip Elon Musk gives us is a mechanism to receive critical feedback on what we are doing. He believes it is important to constantly think about what we are doing and how we can improve.

So, you need to constantly be wondering how you can make things better—allow yourself to be questioned!

Is this style of intense workload appropriate for everybody? Obviously not. As I always like to say, it is important to develop your self-knowledge to understand what is important to you. Only you can evaluate, consider the price of your choices, and find the motivation. Only you can make a conscious choice about whether it makes sense to make a great sacrifice to go after something you believe in.

For transparency’s sake and full disclosure, I must say that at the time of recording this video, I have investment in Tesla company shares, and any financial decision you make after watching this video is your responsibility.

I would also like you to know that in our Productivity Ninja course, I share with you in an easy-to-understand format the most different productivity secrets. You have several ways to adapt them according to your personality, your goals, and your preferences. You can go to this link here to attend the first class now.