Top 10 Elon Musk Productivity Secrets for Insane Success

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#1 Start the Day with Critical Work

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“Focus on signal over noise. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better.”

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#2 Use Feedback Loops

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“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

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“Don’t tell me what you like, tell me what you don’t like.”

#3 Reason from First Principles

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“You look at the fundamentals and construct your reasoning from that and then see if you have a conclusion that works or doesn’t work. And it may or may not be different from what people have done in the past. It’s harder to think that way, though.”

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#4 Use Asynchronous Communication

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“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.”

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#5 Master Communication

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“People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”

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#6 Batch Tasks

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“But what I find is I’m able to be with [my kids] and still be on email. I can be with them and still be working at the same time… If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to get my job done.”

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#7 Scheduling

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“I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”

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#8 Embrace Stretch Goals

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“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”

“I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”

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#9 Develop a Growth Mindset

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“You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

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#10 Develop a Wide Knowledge Base

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“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”

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#11 BONUS: Showering

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“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”

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This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 348,974+ people.

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