- SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is known to be very productive.
- Musk recently told Tesla employees that they would transition into an ambitious full-time work schedule to get Model 3 production back on track.
- In a letter announcing the changes, Musk offered employees a list of his productivity tips.
Elon Musk manages to do many things.
The 46-year-old entrepreneur and CEO is revolutionizing spaceflight with SpaceX, transforming the world of the electric car with Tesla, and pushing neuroscience and transportation forward with Neuralink and the Boring Company.
As Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX chief operating officer said, speaking at the 2018 Ted conference, Musk's goals are very demanding to comply with.
"When Elon says something, you need to stop and not blurt out, "Well, that's impossible.", he said. “You seal your mouth, you think about it and you find ways to do it.”
Recently, Musk announced to Tesla employees that he wants to adopt full-time shift work to ramp up the production process for the Tesla Model 3 electric car. In an email obtained by Jalopnik, Musk explained a number of changes to be implemented for those who work at Tesla.
He's asking a lot, so at the end of the email, he offers employees a list of his productivity recommendations. From those hints it is clear that Musk is certainly not a fan of meetings, bureaucracy, hierarchies or any system that prevents immediate communication. He prefers people to apply common sense in every task performed.
He also told employees that if they had ideas to make Tesla's work better and more efficient, they should let him know.
Here the seven productivity tips offered by Musk and contained in the email sent to employees, explained in his own words.
1. Meetings with large numbers of people are just a waste of people's time
“Excessive meetings are the scourge of large companies and almost always make their productivity worse over time. Best to get rid of all large meetings, unless you are sure they are adding value for everyone involved, in which case keep them very short.”
2. Meetings should be infrequent unless a matter is urgent
“Get rid of frequent meetings, too, unless you're dealing with an extremely urgent matter. The frequency of meetings is expected to decrease rapidly once the urgent matter has been resolved."
3. If you don't need to be in the meeting, leave.
“Leave a meeting or hang up on a call as soon as it's obvious you're not adding value. It's not rude to leave, it's rude to make someone stay and waste their time."
4. Avoid confusing jargon.
“Do not use acronyms or gibberish for things, software or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires explanation inhibits communication. We don't want people to have to memorize a glossary just to work at Tesla."
5. Don't let hierarchical structures make things less efficient.
“Communication should travel via the shortest route necessary to get the job done, not through the 'chain of command' – any manager looking to apply chain-of-command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”
6. If you need to reach out to someone, do it directly.
“One of the main sources of problems is poor communication between offices: the way to solve this problem is to allow the free flow of information between all levels, whether a collaborator has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talk to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone who's doing the real job, surely something really stupid is going to happen. Better to speak directly and accomplish the right thing in a simple way”
7. Don't waste time following silly rules.
"In general, always take common sense as a guide: if following a 'company rule' is clearly ridiculous in a particular situation, then the rule should change."