Elon Musk Outlines The 7 Best Ways To Be Productive At Work


By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Elon Musk is one busy fella — but this isn’t surprising. As the founder of PayPal and SpaceX and the co-founder of Tesla, Musk is always juggling tasks and meetings.

Over the years, he has learned simple ways to increase his own productivity. Recently, after informing Tesla employees the the company would be moving to an ambitious 24/7 schedule to get Model 3 production on track, he shared 7 of those tips.

In an email obtained by Jalopnik, Musk acknowledged that he was asking a lot of the Tesla employees. To support them during this busy time, he offered a list of his own productivity recommendations. He went on to add that if any of them had ideas to make Tesla more efficient, to let him know.

Following are Elon Musk’s 7 tips for improving productivity at work:

1) Avoid large-format meetings

In Elon Musk’s opinion, large-format meetings waste people’s time. “Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [rid] of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short,” the tech billionaire wrote.

2) Meetings are unnecessary unless a matter is urgent

Once again, Musk expresses distaste for meetings. “Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved,” wrote Musk.

3) If you don’t belong in the meeting, leave

There’s nothing wrong with excusing yourself from a meeting that doesn’t require your presence, says Musk.  “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

4) Speak plainly and simply

“Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software, or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla,” wrote Musk.

5) The ‘chain of command’ is limiting

Wrote Musk: ”Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ‘chain of command’. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”

6) Speak to whomever you need to directly

Musk urged employees to get in touch with whomever they need to, not wait for communication between departments. “A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen,” he wrote.

7) “Silly rules” are just that

“In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a ‘company rule’ is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change,” wrote the SpaceX founder.

From the list, it seems clear Musk is no fan of meetings, bureaucracy, hierarchy, or any system that reduces the flow of communication. While this may seem counterintuitive, who are we to question the methods of a highly-successful tech billionaire?

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Source: Business Insider

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