Elon Musk Shares His Secret Work Method For Being Productive 120 Hours A Week

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Twitter (Now X), is known for his extraordinary work ethic, often clocking in over 120 hours per week. He often shares how he throws himself into work, spending hours and often days in the office to get things right. But what’s his secret? Well, according to him, it’s his meticulously planned routine that maximises every minute of his day.

And what’s his routine? Well, Mr. Musk himself has often revealed insights into his planner in tweets, Reddit posts, and more on recent podcasts with Joe Rogan.

In one of his answers to a Reddit Q&A, Musk once revealed that he begins his day at 7 am after six hours of sleep. Despite recommendations for seven hours, he finds six to be his optimal amount, stating, “I find if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m quite grumpy… my mental acuity would be affected.” He usually skips breakfast but never misses a shower, which he credits for sparking great ideas. This might not be the healthiest approach, but it highlights his dedication to maximising his working hours.

After waking up from getting “optimal sleep,” Musk breaks his day into five-minute slots, an intense version of the Pomodoro technique. This, according to him, allows him to concentrate on one task at a time, improving focus and productivity. His schedule includes time for emails, meals, meetings, and even social media, where he remains active on Twitter.

And while he skips breakfast, workouts are also not in the morning cup of tea of Mr. Musk. “I wouldn’t exercise at all if I could,” Musk confessed to Joe Rogan. “The older I get the harder it is to stay lean, that’s for sure.” However, though he dislikes working out, Mr. Musk does use a treadmill with TV distractions to get through them. He also practises martial arts like Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, showcasing a commitment to physical fitness despite his lack of enthusiasm.

Now, while Musk does have a planned routine, he has a big HQ to handle and for that, he has also divided his workweek strategically between his companies. He spends Mondays and Fridays at SpaceX in Los Angeles and the rest of the week at Tesla or Twitter in San Francisco. This streamlined approach minimises travel and maximises work efficiency.

Ending the day, to optimise sleep, Musk avoids food and alcohol for a few hours before bed. He uses this time to plan the following day, perpetuating the relentless cycle that fuels his success. Reading before bed helps him unwind and find inspiration, with favourites like “Lord of the Rings” and biographies dotting his nightstand.

According to Musk, his approach to productivity is rooted in discipline and structure. By planning his day the night before and adhering to a strict schedule, he ensures that every minute is used effectively. His method demonstrates that success is not just about working hard but also about working smart.

However, while Musk champions his workaholic lifestyle, it’s not without consequences. In 2018, he experienced burnout from working 120-hour weeks. So it’s important to find a balance that works for you, incorporating healthy habits alongside effective work strategies.

Source: GWFM Research & Study