Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to deny that Tesla CEO and Twitter boss Elon Musk is on top of the world right now. Behind his glamourous lifestyle of riches and luxury is a disciplined daily routine that Musk says is the key to his success. As the owner and CEO of some of the world’s most lucrative companies, Musk has a lot on his plate. We’ve compiled a comprehensive outline of his busy routine, including when he sleeps, works, eats and exercises to maximise efficiency.
Elon Musk has a reputation for being a workaholic. He’s known to work over 100 hours per week with no days off and to sleep in his office to meet deadlines. There’s only 24 hours in a day and Musk tries to spend his time being as productive and efficient as possible. Musk meticulously plans his daily schedule the night before, which has yielded enormous benefits for himself and his businesses. If you’re struggling with time management, it would be wise to take a page out of the worlds richest man’s book. But not all aspects of Elon’s routine are ideal if you want to bolster your health.
Five Minute Intervals
To avoid time wasting or getting too caught up in any individual task, Musk utilises an advanced adaptation of the Pomodoro method. Practitioners of the Pomodoro method break down their workloads into 30-minute intervals. But Musk ups the ante even further. Breaking down every individual daily task into a miniscule interval of only five minutes.
From the moment he wakes up in the morning, Elon has his day already been planned out and broken up into 5-minute increments. These time blocks target specific tasks the 51-year-old must complete throughout the day and allow him to focus on them individually, rather than multitasking, which he says he struggles with. For example, some of Musk’s intervals are dedicated to answering emails, eating meals and attending meetings.
We have to assume that a number of Musk’s time blocks are dedicated to browsing social media. Since buying Twitter, the 51-year-old tweets around 15 times per day and is on the platform once every hour on average. This goes to show that even the most successful businessmen can let the day slip away by endlessly scrolling on social media.
Good morning ????— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Work takes up the bulk of Elon’s day. So, as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning, he gets straight into the action. Musk describes himself as “Fairly nocturnal” and goes to bed at around 1am before waking up at 7am. The 51-year-old has found that six hours of sleep each night is his sweet spot. “I find if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m quite grumpy. I could drop below a certain threshold of sleep, although I would be awake more hours I would get less done because my mental acuity would be affected,” Musk said in a Reddit Q&A. Musk should know that at least 7 hours sleep is recommended for optimal health and wellbeing. While he shortens his sleep cycle to have more time at work, he won’t necessarily get more done.
Musk’s mornings certainly aren’t what a doctor would recommend. After ditching any prospect of sleeping in, he then makes another mistake by usually skipping breakfast. Breakfast is crucial to boosting energy levels at the start of the day, skipping it to save time is not a good idea. Although, Musk at least always finds time to shower. He attributes his morning cleanse as the source of his great idea’s. That’s one morning habit we can get behind.
Streamlined Working day
There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 26, 2018
With split responsibilities lying with companies headquartered all over the USA, Musk tends to split his working week in specific locations, rather than moving across the country throughout the day. He spends Mondays and Fridays with SpaceX in Los Angeles and the other five days of the week with either Tesla or Twitter, which are based in San Francisco.
Musk prioritizes time management at work with his five-minute interval method. To streamline his working process, he regularly cuts meetings short, discourages unnecessary meetings and doesn’t answer his phone. Instead, he prefers emails or text messages, which he can answer whenever he wants.
Musk isn’t the type of boss that sits back and lets his employees do all the work. He’s heavily involved in the design and engineering processes at Tesla and SpaceX. While he’s taken a more laid-back approach as the top dog at Twitter, he still expects his staff to emulate his hardcore work ethic. Shortly after the Twitter takeover, Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum: commit to a staunch work ethic and long hours or leave the company.
Exercise And Workout Routine
Even with working weeks totalling well over 100 hours, Musk still recognises the importance of exercise and manages to squeeze workouts into his routine. But the billionaire admits that he doesn’t love working out and struggles with his fitness. “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.”
While exercising isn’t exactly his cup of tea, Musk still does it to keep his brain sharp and his body fit enough for the tribulations of his day. He spends time lifting weights and, although he doesn’t love it, running on a treadmill while watching tv to distract himself. Musk is also known to enjoy martial arts and practices Karate, Taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If one of the busiest men in the world can squeeze in a workout, surely a morning run or post-work trip to the gym won’t be too difficult to add to your routine.
Musk’s mother Maye is a dietician. But her healthy habits haven’t rubbed off on her son, who told Joe Rogan “I’d rather eat tasty food and live a shorter life.” In a Reddit Q&A, Musk revealed that American-style barbeque and French cuisine are his personal favourite foods.
We’ve already discussed Musk’s habit of skipping breakfast. The way he eats his other meals also isn’t too healthy. With lunch situated in the middle of his working day, Musk prefers to gulp down whatever he can during meetings, as long as it tastes good and can be eaten quickly. After consuming a low amount of calories throughout the day, Musk’s biggest meal is dinner, but he’s careful not to over eat.
Musk tries to avoid food and alcohol for 2-3 hours before bed to achieve better sleep. The end of his day is spent planning his next, as part of the relentless cycle that he uses to stay on top of the business world.
Elon likes to read before bed as a means of clearing his head for optimal sleep and to find inspiration for the next day. His personal favourites include Lord of the Rings, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a biography of Albert Einstein.
Dealing With Burnout
While he’s proud of his workaholic lifestyle and has obviously reaped the financial rewards, Musk proves that everyone has a breaking point. In 2018, burnout began to take its toll. And Musk revealed to the New York Times the impact of working up to 120 hours a week. “There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days, days when I didn’t go outside,” he said. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
This led to Musk scaling back his work hours to improve his work/life balance. And if the world’s richest man recognises the risk of burnout, it’s clear that the rest of us should also take steps to protect our mental wellbeing.