For Elon Musk It’s Work, Work, Work And Then Some Play

3 days ago by Steven Loveday 21

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

To say that Elon Musk is a busy man would be a severe understatement, but to call him a workaholic may be an overstatement, since he still makes sure there’s extra time for the important things in life.

How does Musk juggle two major companies, three small companies, and five sons, while still leaving room to eat, sleep, date, Tweet, and play?

Elon Musk’s life revolves around innovation, and making the world a better place. Whether he’s at Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Open AI, Neuralink, his home office, his car, a lunch date, on a plane, or with his boys, Musk is always living and loving his work. He spends about 90 percent of his working time between Tesla and SpaceX (with a bit more time at Tesla generally).

Elon Musk definitely enjoys driving, but he hates traffic. He likes to listen to music in the car. Perhaps it’s one of the few times that he is away from it all … sorta.

First of all, about the workaholic part … if you enjoy what you do, are you really working? Yes, Musk works a ton of hours, but he recently cut back from about 100 hours per week to only 80 or 90. Ten to twenty extra hours in his week must feel like a lot (he needs that time to date). But, Musk has chosen all of these paths, and he’s ultimately passionate about them. His work is merely an extension of his life … it is his life really.

Musk has shared on numerous occasions that he only sleeps about six to 6.5 hours every night (from 1AM to 7AM). He found that cutting out sleep made him less productive, but too much sleep means less time to work. He says that the right amount of sleep is essential for productivity and everyone has to find their number. Many of us are on the “6 hours or so” of sleep schedule, and according to the National Sleep Foundation, this is an appropriate number. Musk shared:

“The right number for me is around 6 to 6.5 hours per night. Sleep is really great. 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 also said that he has had to cut back on the caffeine, but the new work schedule allows for it. When he was pulling 100 hours a week, he lived on caffeine. He said:

“I got so freaking jacked that I seriously started to feel like I was losing my peripheral vision. Now, the office has caffeine-free Diet Coke.”

So, if Musk works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and sleeps six hours, that leaves six hours for everything else. He admits that he may not be at the office for 12 hours, but he multi-tasks work-related communication during some of the time that he’s with his kids, or doing non-work-related activities.  Somehow, he spends four days a week with his kids, and he is actively dating. The boys spend some time with dad at the various factories and offices, travel with him, and also go on an annual camping trip. He shared:

“I’m a pretty good dad. I have the kids for slightly more than half the week and spend a fair bit of time with them. I also take them with me when I go out of town.”

Musk has been married a few times, and his boys are all from his first marriage. He married, divorced and remarried his second wife, Talulah Riley, but now they have split for good, and it was said to be amicable. Musk is single at the moment, and finding a girlfriend is a priority (he’s been spending quite a bit of time with Amber Heard). He thinks that he needs about 10 hours a week to devote to a girlfriend. Musk explained:

“I think the time allocated to the businesses and the kids is going fine. I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to ten—how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe ten hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.”

Added to all of this, Musk has been a lifelong gamer, and we all know that he loves his Twitter account. He concluded:

“I listen to music in the car. I do watch movies, although less these days. Hang out with kids, see friends, normal stuff. Sometimes go crazy on Twitter. But usually it’s work more.”

Source: Quartz

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22 responses to "For Elon Musk It’s Work, Work, Work And Then Some Play"

  1. Ron M says:

    Well at least he can save sometime doing something more enjoyable and productive than trying to teach Trump the merits of creating renewable energy jobs.

  2. Loboc says:

    Dating takes more time than ya think Elon. Ya can’t just shut her off and store her in a closet until needed!

    Well, until your next company begins making ersatz GFs that is.

    1. Chris O says:

      Concept for time efficient speed dating:

      EM: “High, I’m worth $16Billion”
      Girl: “where do I sign”.

    2. Nix says:

      The last I knew, he was dating actress Amber Heard. Amber is too busy filming movies like London Fields, What’s the Point?, Justice League, and Aquaman to be in any closets….

  3. pjwood1 says:

    Elon “definitely enjoys driving”?

    wish it showed

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “First of all, about the workaholic part … if you enjoy what you do, are you really working?”

    I think it’s safe to say that if we asked his twice-ex-wife and his children, they’d give that a very big “YES!”

    “Yes, Musk works a ton of hours, but he recently cut back from about 100 hours per week to only 80 or 90…”

    This is a use of the term “only” with which I’m not familiar. /snark

    “Musk… married, divorced and remarried his second wife, Talulah Riley, but now they have split for good, and it was said to be amicable.”

    And apparently it didn’t occur to this writer that this may be causally related, in a very direct way, to the the extraordinary number of hours Elon works every week.

    🙄

    I have a lot of admiration for Elon Musk, and his vision, his indefatigable dedication, and his willingness to put his money where his mouth is (betting his entire personal fortune on Tesla) in a way that very few CEOs are willing to do.

    But to question that the man is a workaholic… actually, they need to invent a new term just for him, because the amount of time and energy Elon devotes to his multiple careers and past-times is far beyond what a mere workaholic does!

    1. SparkEV says:

      “far beyond what a mere workaholic does”

      Apparently, you haven’t been involved with too many startups. That’s what most guys in startups do, at least until they have some funding. Unlike Tesla, there’s no billions in stock to fall back on if things don’t work out. I’m still tired from the last one.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        So, you’re claiming that “most guys in startups” work ~100 hours a week, the equivalent hours of two-and-a-half full time jobs.

        Got it.

        1. wavelet says:

          I’ve worked at several startups myself. Also used to work at a VC where I was in contact with dozens regularly and hundreds of entrepreneurs trying to establish their startup.

          First of all, in tech R&D, fulltime jobs are 50-55 hours/week. I’ve never ever met a single person who worked less, across numerous countries. France has a 35-hour max workweek by law — so everyone in the tech sector fakes the timesheets and/or does not report hours worked from home.

          A.f.a. startups are concerned, 60hrs/week is the bare minimum — again, never met anyone who worked less — and 70-80 is typical (7 days/week is the norm, altho’ part of that is from home, and not all of it is efficient). 100 hours/week is the top end, but not rare.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Thanks, Wavelet. That reads like a credible claim.

        2. SparkEV says:

          If you work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, that’s 84 hours a week (over double full time). That still allows for couple of hours a day of play, and most engineers involved in “crunch time” in big companies do it for weeks at a time. It’s not that hard.

          For startups, work is the first thing in the morning when you wake up, and last thing before shower, which amount to about 15 hours a day, sometimes even more by sleeping at work, 7 days a week, or 105 hours a week at minimum. Productivity may not be the best, but sometimes brute force is the only way to get the job done, and the “job” is endless in startup.

          If you read my bitching about unions taking over companies that people work so hard in building, this is what I’m talking about. If you worked so hard, and Elon does, it’s horrible that some union thugs demand take-over any part of it.

  5. Chris O says:

    Wonder if that twitter account is part of his R&R…That wind them up and watch them go game should be quite entertaining.

  6. SparkEV says:

    You can rest after you’re 6 ft under, now get to work! You’re already way behind in Tesla 3; should’ve been out a year ago!

    1. georgeS says:

      I’ll sleep when I’m dead

      -Warren Zevon RIP

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwdaZfLatmM

    2. Paul Smith says:

      “You’re already way behind in Tesla 3; should’ve been out a year ago!” Whoa Sparky. He’s not throwing together a SparkEV.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    I’m more interested in Musk’s statement, regarding the old NUMMI plant:

    “We’re bursting at the seams here. We need a new factory for the Model Y”.

    The old Nummi Toyota/GM/UAW joint venture produced 74 cars per worker-year. Tesla produces 8-10 cars, admittedly worth more per car.

    But the amount of productivity Toyota, et al. garnered was much higher than Tesla apparently, or at least they did more with sub-assemblies than Tesla does, and the superior productivity was 18 years ago.

    Perhaps part of the secret of higher productivity is to farm out simpler tasks such as dashboards and seats that many other companies are better at doing. They already use Mercedes Steering Column, switchgear as an example.

    Since every company uses robotic manufacture, Tesla is at no particular advantage here, and they have more employees to make under 1/4 the old plant did 18 years ago. Granted its not an apples to apples comparison, but you would think there’d be an incentive to do more with their current facilities.

    1. Nix says:

      NUMMI maxed out at 500,000 car a year when it was owned by the ICE car makers.

      Tesla already has plans to hit 500,000 with just the Model S + Model X + Model 3 production.

      Tesla has also stated that Model Y demand would exceed Model 3 demand. Let’s say it eventually grows to another 500,000.

      That would be twice what the ICE car makers built at NUMMI when they owned it. The math doesn’t work. Tesla would be at double what the ICE car companies built at the NUMMI plant, regardless of the number of employees. They need more factories. Either in the US or overseas.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Bill Howland said:

      “But the amount of productivity Toyota, et al. garnered was much higher than Tesla apparently, or at least they did more with sub-assemblies than Tesla does, and the superior productivity was 18 years ago.”

      Ummm, that’s not “superior productivity”, it’s comparing apples to oranges.

      I dunno if the ratio between workers and cars produced at the Fremont assembly plant is as low as you claim, but for the sake of argument let’s assume it is.

      First of all, higher-cost cars with more parts and widgets take more workers to assemble. You can’t do an apples-to-apples comparison between Tesla and Toyota. Try comparing Tesla and BMW.

      Secondly, Tesla has made a policy of doing as much in-house manufacturing and assembly work as it reasonably can. If you added in all the workers at the auto parts suppliers which supply Toyota for any given model of car, then I suspect you’d come up with a ratio that is much closer to Tesla’s.

      1. Martin Winlow says:

        Last paragraph = ‘vertical integration’ for the benefit of readers that are not already aware.

  8. georgeS says:

    “I think maybe even another five to ten—how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe ten hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.”

    -EM

    I don’t know is an understatement.

  9. Mister G says:

    GO ELON GO SAVE HUMANITY

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