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Productivity Tips from Elon Musk

Unfortunately, the management methods used in many companies are sometimes ineffective. Established patterns, instead of developing people, improving their performance, and speeding up the achievement of goals, do more harm than good. As a result, employees are shackled with strange procedures, struggle with unnecessary bureaucracy, and have delays in projects.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the result of a company’s work is the sum of the productivity of all employees. It happens that the lateness of one person slows down the work of the entire chain, causes disappointment, and spoils the morale of the team. To counteract this, Elon Musk presented Tesla employees with a set of 8 tips to improve productivity.

Limit long mass gatherings

There is probably nothing worse than meeting for many hours in a very large group. Over time, listeners’ attention is most often distracted, because thoughts related to their own duties and about the upcoming dinner come to the fore. If the conference room is also poorly air-conditioned, the crowd immediately becomes stuffy, which is not conducive to concentration or memorization.

Perhaps this is one of the needs of Maslow’s pyramid, placed on the penultimate rung. Perhaps it is she who subconsciously tells us to invite more people to meetings than necessary so that we can show ourselves to a wider audience.

Or maybe we are just being taught by the school model that the presentation is in front of the whole class, regardless of who is interested or not. So it’s worth wondering if the invite list is too long?

Reduce the frequency of meetings

How often do you have to meet for the project to start and go as expected? Elon Musk says: “Reduce the frequency of meetings as soon as all urgent issues are resolved.”

This principle is a kind of trust. Meetings should be held when we come to an important moment. They should be rare, like a summary of work already done and a planning stage for the next. Everyone knows what he needs to do and completes the task in accordance with his knowledge and experience. Thus, it is worth inviting people with the appropriate qualifications to the projects.

Leave the meeting if you are not actually attending

Since someone cannot say anything important about a pressing problem, their presence is optional. During this time, he will do what will truly benefit him and the company. Otherwise, he will waste time sitting in vain and listening to what does not concern him.

Leave the meeting or conference if you know your presence is useless. Leaving such an appointment ahead of time is not rude. Forcing someone to stay is rude and a waste of precious time. This principle of Elon Musk is related to the first one. In the meantime, get back to your activities. Increase your personal productivity.

Discard jargon that interferes with communication

We tend to oversimplify most of the time. Thus, we want to make it easier for ourselves and others. Such simplifications include company slang, which often contains several foreign words in one (for example, English) word or does not have a direct equivalent. You just need to make sure that all listeners are using the same language. Otherwise, there will be innuendo and even a sense of alienation.

Elon Musk wrote: “Avoid using jargon or meaningless vocabulary to describe Tesla’s objects, software and processes.” In general, anything that requires additional explanation makes communication difficult. And we don’t want Tesla to require learning a vocabulary of difficult words. Work is not a place for academic terms. This degrades performance.

Skip the decision chain if necessary

Hierarchical structures are a natural part of enterprises. It is true that there should be leaders, managers and leaders, but this is not always the case. Decision chains are not always the best way to communicate information.

Such a situation may be the absence of a direct superior. It may also happen that the leader reads messages one by one according to the chronology of their arrival and is unable to immediately respond. You may then be tempted to break the decision-making chain by asking a question one level up. Naturally, a direct supervisor should be added to the message so as not to do something behind his back.

Encourage direct communication between departments

This point is similar to the previous one, but the communication plane changes (from vertical to horizontal). It is about conversations without the participation of management, which speeds up and improves the flow of information. This avoids waiting for the message to go through all the levels before it reaches the right person.

One of the main sources of problems is ineffective communication between the departments of the company. A quick opportunity check in another department gives an immediate answer and allows you to decide about the future of the project here and now. Since there is no way to implement the idea in this form in another department, it can be changed or abandoned. As a result, no one will waste time and energy.

Use common sense in everything

As part of an organization, in this case a company, we accept the rules and procedures that exist there. They were created with a purpose, right? The problem is that sometimes they don’t adapt to changing conditions. The market, industry, people, methods of management, production and distribution are changing.

If compliance with company rules is clearly absurd in a given situation, then those rules should be changed. Common sense should always come first. It’s like playing at an online casino – entertainment shouldn’t turn into addiction.

Formality is the enemy of performance

Overly complex formalities sometimes hinder personal productivity. Yes, the team must know what to go with and how to behave. At the same time, people need to understand when it is possible or even necessary to overturn the rules in order to act more effectively.

All of these tips can be applied to other aspects of human life. The main thing is to adhere to them constantly and the person will have more time to rest.

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