Why do you struggle to be productive?
Without even knowing you, I can tell that your answer is a lack of time & energy. You want to create incredible amounts of wealth and to make consistent progress towards your dreams. But no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work.
Right? We think “if I can finish watching this episode on Netflix, or feel more motivated, then I’ll finally be productive.” But sooner or later, you realize that nothing is going to change until you take action. As Stephen Pressfield writes in his book, The War Of Art:
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
I understand how you feel. You want to fulfill your potential in every aspect of your career. But when you try to sit down and work, procrastination becomes a habit, and you find yourself back at square one.
So if you want to become extremely productive, below are several strategies from Elon Musk to help you to work more efficiently. Each of these insights changed my life for the better, and I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.
Schedule Your Time
How does one person have enough time to launch rockets into space, build tunnels under Los Angeles, and create one of the most recognizable car brands in the world?
By managing it.
If you don’t know how to control your time, you’ll discover that it becomes in control of you. So instead of living each day with a sense of spontaneity, scheduling your tasks is a great way to ensure you can complete all of your work on time.
I’m a writer. That means I need to sit down and write each day if I want to get paid. But of course, there are occasionally days when “I don’t feel like it.” Because when I don’t schedule my days, it’s easy to watch Netflix for several hours, instead of trying to write.
But here’s the thing: If you have a reason to work, I’ve found it’s much easier to find the energy to accomplish whatever you need to do. After all, it’s no secret that motivation, by definition, requires a motive.
I’ll give you an example. If you know that you need to be up before 7 am for a client call, you probably won’t have a desire to sleep in. Or at the very least, you’ll be much more motivated to get out of bed when your alarm clock goes off.
Elon Musk schedules his day by creating “time blocks” of five minutes. Don’t worry: you don’t need to go to that level of extreme time management. But if you know what you’re supposed to do each hour, you’ll certainly improve your overall level of productivity.
Since I began pre-planning my days, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more efficient during the day. Because when you can hold yourself accountable to a schedule, it’s much more difficult to make excuses to procrastinate.
So if you want to get more work completed, break down your day into segments of 30 or 60 minutes. Although a schedule may only take a few minutes to complete, the effect it’ll have on your productivity is profound.
Create Ambitious Targets
If you always stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of achieving. So if you want to increase your productivity, you need to expand the limits of what you think is possible. Elon Musk said it best:
“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.” Incredible productivity is rare. After all, a lot of people in society waste a lot of time at work and then proceed to collect a regular paycheck from their employer.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing bad about someone working a 9–5, merely to put food on the table for their family. I get it. But if you want to be like Elon Musk, and accomplish what most people have never done, you need to think in a different way to the mediocre majority.
In other words, you need to identify the habits of productive people and implement them in your own life. For example:
If a task normally takes an hour, try to complete it in thirty minutes. Although you may not finish in that timeframe, you’ll develop a work ethic to be efficient as humanly possible.
When you have a specific sales target, try to double it. Again, you probably won’t achieve it. However, you’ll quickly find ways to reach your original goal much faster.
If you want to make meetings more efficient, cut their length in half. You’ll be surprised at how much time people waste in meetings when they could be doing other things.
You get the idea. When you set ambitious targets in every aspect of your work, you’ll become much more productive than ever before.
Like you, I want to become extremely efficient and fulfill my potential in my career. So when I began implementing these strategies from Elon Musk, my productivity exponentially improved.
You need to remember that your level of productivity isn’t going to go from zero to one hundred overnight. But once you take daily steps towards being more productive, the power of compound interest will create an entirely different life over time.
Elon Musk once said, “I think it’s possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” Without knowing you, I can tell you’re destined to achieve great things in every aspect of your life.
You can be extraordinary. You’re capable of accomplishing a lot more than you think. You can massively improve your work ethic, productivity, and many other things that are vital to creating the future you desire.
All you need to do is identify the habits of people you admire, and implement them into your own life. Because anything you’ve ever wanted is within your reach. You just need to be willing to work for it.
Written by: Matt Lillywhite