Personal Growth

This Is What Elon Musk Did the Day He Bought Twitter. It’s an Amazing

Monday was simply one other day on the workplace for Elon Musk. Well, virtually.

Sure, there was the deal he closed to buy Twitter for $44 billion money. But earlier than that, the world’s richest man met with Indonesia’s minister for funding on the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin to debate battery provide chain.

And later that night, at 10 p.m., Musk met with engineers–the place he spent greater than an hour engaged on rocket engine “valve leak solutions” on the SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, in keeping with Walter Isaacson, the famed creator presently engaged on Musk’s biography.

“No one mentioned Twitter,” Isaacson stated on, what else, Twitter. “He can multitask.”

I share Isaacson’s sentiment: It’s fascinating Musk can work not solely on a number of tasks, however spearheading a number of corporations, all in the identical day. But what Musk is doing isn’t actually multitasking; it’s one thing utterly completely different–and understanding that distinction is a key to unlocking your personal productiveness.

Musk is participating a easy follow that he’s adopted for a number of years. I wish to name it the rule of focus.

Let’s break down precisely how the rule of focus works, and how one can apply it to your personal work.

(If you discover worth within the “rule of focus,” you may be taken with my full emotional intelligence course — which incorporates 20 extra guidelines that provide help to handle your feelings and be extra productive. Check out the total course right here.)

Not multitasking, not task-switching. Pure focus
True multitasking, concurrently performing two duties on the similar time, is fairly difficult. It could be carried out with a number of follow on the subject of comparatively easy duties. (For instance, think about an expert basketball participant who practices a drill of dribbling a ball with one hand and concurrently throwing and catching a tennis ball with one other hand.)

In distinction, most of what we consider as multitasking is definitely “task-switching,” quickly switching from one activity to a different, and again once more. But task-switching comes with a heavy worth.

“The ability to switch tasks is thought to require extensive high-level cognitive processing,” states the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. “The behavioral outcome of this processing is a robust switch cost–slower and more error-prone performance when switching tasks than when repeating tasks.”

In different phrases, extra task-switching equals extra errors–and lower-quality resolution making.

But when Musk works for his varied corporations, he’s probably not multitasking neither is he task-switching. Rather, he’s specializing in one factor at a time.

In the previous, Musk has acknowledged that he typically tried to separate his week between corporations by day, working for SpaceX in the future and Tesla one other, for instance. But Musk has additionally indicated that he alters his schedule relying on present wants and tasks, and it’s no shock that as time has gone on–and Musk has now bought one other multibillion-dollar firm–that he would work on a number of corporations in a single day.

Nonetheless, let’s return to 4 key phrases from Isaacson, referencing that late-night assembly engaged on rocket engines:

“No one mentioned Twitter.”

This exhibits that, whereas Musk may go on varied issues and for a couple of of his corporations per day, he concentrates on one factor at a time. That’s vital, as a result of it permits Musk to focus his appreciable mind on a single matter, as a substitute of multitasking or task-switching.

Imagine, for instance, that in his assembly with SpaceX engineers, Musk was taking calls about Twitter. Not solely would that scale back the standard of his personal work and focus, it might drive everybody else within the room loopy, too. In distinction, by conserving conferences, challenge work, and main duties separate, Musk makes probably the most of his time and brainpower, aiding his potential to assume critically and remedy issues.

This is only one purpose why Musk is ready to do what he does, specifically, make precious contributions to a number of corporations coping with advanced material.

For instance, think about what Garrett Reisman needed to say. A former astronaut and engineer who labored for years with Musk at SpaceX, Reisman was astonished at Musk’s potential to assist remedy difficult issues.

“I mean, I’ve met a lot of super, super smart people,” stated Reisman in an interview. “But they’re usually super, super smart on one thing. And [Musk is] able to have conversations with our top engineers about the software and the most arcane aspects of that. And then he’ll turn to our manufacturing engineers and have discussions about some really esoteric welding process for some crazy alloy.”

Reisman continued, “He’ll just go back and forth, and his ability to do that across all the different technologies that go into rockets and cars and everything else he does–that’s what really impresses me.”

So, what are you able to study from all of it?

To be clear, as a lot as I respect Musk’s work ethic, I don’t advocate working as many hours as he does, and even holding late-night conferences. But we are able to take a precious lesson from how Musk carries out his work.

You’re probably making an attempt to steadiness a number of obligations, together with operating a enterprise, balancing shoppers, and even separating time for work, household, and self.

The secret’s to maintain these separated and comply with the “rule of focus”: Concentrate on one factor at a time.

So, whether or not you’re

  • Emailing
  • Brainstorming
  • Meeting
  • Creating
  • Solving issues
  • Thinking critically
  • Spending time with your loved ones
  • Taking time for your self

Shut out all exterior distractions. Be current. Focus your whole consideration and mind on the folks or activity at hand.

Doing so will assist you to not solely be extra locations and get extra carried out, however to additionally improve the standard of what you get carried out.

And that’s productiveness at its finest.

This article was initially revealed on Inc.and is reprinted right here with permission.

Justin Bariso is an creator, speaker, and advisor who helps organizations and people develop their emotional intelligence.

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