I read this article recently – it details Six habits that Elon Musk lives by, to stay ‘productive’ and basically, I just had to write about it because, well, it really is no way to live.
Let me break them down for you:
1. Elon will only communicate on his own terms. He doesn’t like to receive phone calls because that means he has to pick up when someone else needs to speak to him – god forbid.
If you want to chat to Mr Musk you have to do so via email, because then he can chose to ignore you, until he deems you worthy of a response. Lucky you.
Of course there is a time and place for both, and many successful leaders would chose this productivity hack, but then Elon goes and takes it one step further…
2. Say you got the memo – don’t call Elon, so you then go to email him, well you won’t have much luck there either, because sneaky Mr Musk has made an obscure email address that only a few people know.
I actually commend the guy’s dedication to not being contacted and this isn’t a bad idea, I suppose those privileged few who are in the know would feel extra special, which is good for his immediate team’s morale… or am I clutching at straws? Anyway his superiority complex, sorry ‘productivity’ doesn’t end there.
3. So you tried to call and got blocked, you tried to email and got a bounce back, but somehow you still managed to secure a meeting with the main man. Great – you’ll finally get to share with him the idea that you think will change his world. But does he still deserve to hear it? You think, then you decide to give him the benefit of the doubt, after all, the world’s most successful leaders are the most engaged and charismatic in person. Unfortunately you’d be wrong.
Because Elon doesn’t think that giving people his full attention in person is necessary either. His next productivity habit is to ‘multitask’ by which means being on the phone during meetings (must be to his wife because no-one else has his number), sending invoices while emailing (I’d want to double check those calculations) and sends work-related texts during family time (see, even his family aren’t safe).
I’m just going to leave this one with you to muse over for a while.
5. OK, up next is how he splits up his day – into 5 minute slots!!! Surely you’d be forever checking the time. If you have to complete a task every 5 minutes, it’s time to re-evaluate.
I feel like there’s more to this one, seems like a click-bait headline and, in his defence Elon does go onto advice to ‘constantly think about how you could be doing things better’. I’m onboard with that one, my advice back would be to think about how you can manage your workload so that doesn’t require 5 minute time increments, better.
5. Last but by no means least, Mr Musk recommends that in order to be more productive you should get less sleep – see it makes sense because then you have more awake hours in your day to split into 5 minute blocks and ignore all your colleagues!
Study, after study has shown that sleep deprivation is the #1 productivity killer; sure some people need less than others, but those that have ‘trained’ themselves to sleep less are actually not doing themselves any favours.
You may notice that I left one of his habits from Inc.com out of my list, which was to flatten his learning curve. I can’t argue with this one as adult learners we need to learn for a purpose in order to be successful, therefore learning should be on a ‘need to know’ basis. A bit more on that here.
I’m all for productivity hacks and if it works for Elon (which, clearly something is working for him), then who am I to judge?
I just think the world would be a very sad place if everyone took up Elon’s productivity habits. A very silent (apart from the clicking of keyboard keys), unengaged, overly tired, place. Am I alone? What do you think?