Elon Musk’s 6 Rules for Insane Productivity

Dovile Miseviciute ·

Passionate content marketer looking to bring better solutions to the project management space. 2020 - Present Marketing specialist at Teamhood. 2014 - 2020 Marketing manager for Eylean.

Productivity rules

Elon Musk has been making headlines recently over his business decisions. Whether you agree with them or not, it is hard to argue that he is an example of an insanely productive individual. While you may not want to achieve his level, there sure is something to learn there.

In his recently leaked email, we got to see the 6 insane productivity rules Musk asks his staff to follow. And I have to agree there is some good stuff in there. So, let’s look them over and see what could be applied to your team.

1. Large Meetings Must Be Avoided

There is a common tendency in the business world – the larger your company, the larger your meetings. However, I am sure you would agree that most of these company-wide meetings are a waste of time and space.

Well, Elon Musk goes a step further saying that they should be avoided altogether. He goes further to specify they should only be held in cases where they truly provide value and are kept very short.

So, next time you are scheduling an hour-long meeting for the company, maybe think twice?

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2. No Frequent Meetings

Since we are on the topic of meetings, another of Mr. Musk’s rules suggests there should be no frequent meetings unless you are dealing with an urgent matter.

This one is a little harder to back full force since we all know the value of a daily standup, but you can still see why this is said. Depending on your position, having frequent meetings can mean you will be in and out of them your whole day. Which leaves little to no time for the actual thinking and work to be done.

While there is value in meeting with your team, the frequency should not interrupt your work.

Learn more about the biggest time thieves in your office.

thieves of time

3. Leave When You are not Adding Value

This next tip for insane productivity is one I feel most of us struggle with, but wish they had the green light for it. There certainly have been calls or meetings where you are just sitting there knowing full well you will not contribute or gain anything.

Well, it appears if you are working for Tesla, you are free to just up and go. Your time is valuable and you should not be wasting it in an event that yields nothing for you or the company. While applying this will require a culture change, there is something you could do when scheduling your next meeting.

Simply think about whether all the attendees actually need to be there?

4. Avoid using Acronyms and Jargon

When was the last time you had to google an acronym used in your team chat? Me personally, just a couple of weeks back. And I still had to clarify with my colleagues since there were multiple options for me to choose from. I am sure you will agree this does not sound like insane productivity.

To avoid situations like this and ensure communication is effective, there is a clear rule that says acronyms and jargon should not be used at Tesla. Instead, the communication should be clear and don’t require an explanation.

Instead of memorizing acronyms, communicate clearly for all involved parties.

5. Communicate Through the Shortest Path

Communication is vital for effective decision-making and progress. However, with large organizations, it often gets lost in the chain of command. And then key decisions are not made on time.

This email demonstrates a different view on how the information should spread throughout the company. And that is always through the shortest path. Instead of trying to follow a chain of command or procedure, ensure you are communicating with the person that needs this information first.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your colleagues no matter their department or position. If they need to know something – let them know.

6. Follow Common Sense

The last and arguably the most important rule of insane productivity is to follow your common sense. This could be applied to all the topics discussed above, but more specifically talks about following and adhering to company rules.

In the email, we can see a clear statement that if a rule clearly does not fit the situation, you are free not to follow it. Instead, do what makes the most common sense and worry about changing the rules later. While this can be tricky with more traditional teams, there sure should be some liberty to only go by the book.

Rules are good, but they too can be changed if the circumstances require that.

Insane Productivity for Your Team

I am sure you have found something that resonates in these 6 insane productivity rules by Elon Musk. However, don’t feel like you should apply them all at once.

When talking about productivity, each team and process is different. So, instead of jumping in head first, see what is closer to your current process and start there. And if you are looking to learn more, check out these 16 productivity hacks.

Or see how Teamhood can help your team become more productive in task and project management.

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