These Are Elon Musk’s 7 Productivity Hacks That Helped Him Build Multiple Companies

As far as work productivity goes, few do it better than Elon Musk. Over the last two decades, he’s created the world’s most valuable car company in Tesla, created the first private company to take humans to space in SpaceX, worked on merging humanity with AI through Neuralink, and even dug himself some tunnels through the Boring Company. Most people would be proud to have built any one of these companies — Musk has gone ahead and built four. So when he talks about productivity, you listen.

Twitter user Gabriel Gruber shared a tweet-thread with the 7 productivity hacks of Elon Musk. The thread caught the attention of Musk himself, with him replying “Exactly” in response. With Musk’s personal endorsement, these are Elon Musk’s 7 productivity hacks.

  1. Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience in which case keep them very short.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 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.
  5. 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. 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.
  7. 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.