Written By: Anupam Rajey
He is five men in one. Although it’s not what you are thinking.
After selling X.com to Confinity inc and Zip2 to Compaq, he went on to become the founder and CEO of SpaceX, co-founder and chairman of SolarCity, OpenAI, and co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors.
Feeling tired by just reading? There is more.
Looking at his 100 hour work week, he seems either a creature of some extraterrestrial species or an extremely gifted fellow. However, after going through all of his interviews & talks, we can satisfactorily deduce that his track record has been paved by unshakable work ethics based on certain principles. The principles that make him what he is today…the most badass(boldest) entrepreneur alive.
Also known as batching, it’s about grouping together tasks that can be done simultaneously without compromising the quality of results. Its strictly not to be misunderstood with multi-tasking.
Lets understand this with examples
Having a smoothie while checking mails sitting in a sauna.
Working out in gym while listening to audio news
Not only does it save you lots of time, you also have your valuable attention reserved for more important tasks.
To find out the activities that you can stack, start by journalising all your general activities of a day.Journalising is a one time pain in the posterior, without which you will overlook tiny activities. Believe me, I am speaking from experience.
Now sift through them and identify the ones that can be done together. Make batches.
Try out the batches and see if they work for you. Do reassemble the arrangement that doesn’t work for you.
First principle of physics
Its surprising that very few of us make use of this while solving problems or setting objectives. Half of the battle is won if only entrepreneurs understood this simple principle and put it in practice.
In Elon’s absolutely simple words…
“you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there”
It’s as rewarding as it is mentally challenging. The way most of us live is we reason by analogy i.e. we do things because something similar has already been done by someone else. We merely copy.
Through the first principle, you boil things down to their most fundamental structure and then reason up from there.
So when Elon Musk took the objective of making humans a multi planetary species, he mulled over and found out that the very first issue to be addressed is outer space travel, one of the foremost challenges in the path of his objective. Thus SpaceX was born.
Now what it does is, since you are reasoning everything with logic, you find out whether the objective is even worth pursuing. And once you find out that the juice is worth the squeeze, you can chew on entrepreneurial blade much easier.
Dealing with fear of failure
We can’t eliminate it, neither can we escape it.
What an entrepreneur can really do is to accept it as just another certainty, like success. When you do that, you won’t have second thoughts about the status of your venture every now and then.
Both Tesla Motors and SpaceX were on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008 and 2009. For the former, a financial crisis hit in 2008 when the company was raising a round of funding.The latter witness three consecutive rocket launch failures. Elon says that he had to scrape together bunch of money from friends just to keep things rolling. The fourth launch was successful and it came across as a relief, he says.
There is a great piece written on dealing with failure and how to grow, in a previous post on socialmarketingfella.com
Most entrepreneurs like to do things by themselves. They think it saves time and also that nobody can do things better than them.
Lets not be delusional for a second. Are we really so immodest about our capabilities?
Yes you can learn things and do them by yourself too. But considering the time required to go through the learning curve, it’ll certainly not worth it.
Say for instance, not many entrepreneurs know how to get the most out for their brands from their social media channels. But instead of reaching out to a virtual assistant who can handle their social media for them, they keep investing their valuable time. And then they wonder why they are getting meagre results. They are much better off investing their time in activities like bringing new clients for them or developing the managers of their teams.
But before an entrepreneur jumps out to take the services of a social media virtual assistant, its imperative that they address some critical issue related to it. In the post, Your One-Stop Guide to working with Social Media Virtual Assistant, all such issues are explained in detail.
Being the topmost leader of three gigantic corporations is not a petty job. So how does he manage that?
Through a slick team of professionals. In fact, Elon is interviewed as saying that he gets most of his work done through emailing and then focuses on the core issues.
Keeping feedback loop
These are the exact words of Elon….
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”
You’d be surprised how much it prevents you from derailing.
Have your close friends and relatives tell you about any limitations in your product or plan.
Keep a feedback loop and you will achieve your objectives faster because of increased efficiency.
Most of what you just read might sound metaphysical but trust me! These principles are more permanent in nature than the temporary solution offered by “quick efficiency hacks”.
Do try to incorporate them and let us know how you started getting more done in less time.
Anupam Rajey is a seasoned marketer and sales expert. He is the CEO of Acelerar Tech, a leading KPO that offers virtual assistants for social media, Internet research, email & chat support, and more.
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