Elon Musk’s 5-Minute Time Blocking Method: Elon’s Thoughts and My Experience

As one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Elon Musk has plenty of people who look up to him and admire his work ethic. He has a creative side that is different from most, and many people want to know what they can do to match some of the tactics he has used to build his wealth and prestige. It may be impossible for any of us to honestly hope to be like Elon Musk at the end of the day, but we can at least learn a few ways to improve ourselves from what Elon does.


The purpose behind Elon musk 5 minute time blocking method

The 5-minute time-blocking method has been associated with Elon Musk, though he denies that he uses it (more on this later). Scheduling activities in small bursts of time is a way to train the mind to focus on one topic, even if it is just for a short period of time.

elon musk

I tried this technique myself, and it is certainly very challenging. Getting everything squared away into tight 5-minute boxes was not something that I was used to, but I did find that I was to get more done throughout the day. In fact, I did still find many uplifting benefits of this method.

Those benefits include:

  • Not making things more complicated than they need to be (5-minute blocks don’t allow for as many revisions)
  • It cuts down on unnecessary distractions
  • Promotes a hardened focus on one’s schedule throughout the day

Although some are critical of the concept of only spending five minutes on a particular task before moving on to the next thing (including Elon himself), there is something to be said about how it forces your attention solely on one thing for a short time. Our attention spans are decreasing every year, so it may be helpful to to start with five-minute blocks of time to focus on something before moving on to lengthier focus sessions.


It would be best if you had long uninterrupted times to think

As we have already mentioned, Elon Musk took a swipe at those who suggest that he uses the five-minute block approach to time management.

elon musk tweet about time blocking


He directly tweeted at Dinis Guarda, who had tweeted a story implying that Musk used this method. Musk stated that he doesn’t use a five-minute block method and that he believes that people need longer periods to be genuinely productive in what they are trying to accomplish.

He feels that it is necessary to spend more concentrated energy than that on the projects that he is genuinely passionate about, and that is why he disputes the claims that he uses a five-minute blocking schedule.

Even as he says that this is not the method that he uses, he did not completely shut the door on the idea that he uses some kind of time-blocking method. He just disagreed with the length of time that has been attributed to him. It is possible that he uses some variation of this method, but that he keeps the length a bit longer so as to make it more productive from his point of view.


You should still use the time-blocking method

There are good reasons to still use time-blocking as part of your strategy to get things done. It is a fact that the human mind can only focus on one thing for so long before it gets distracted and/or needs a break. We should try our best to offer our brains the chance to catch up with us and try to understand when our minds drift at least a little.

elon musk showing ok sign

If you want to know how to say you have good time management skills, it starts with recognizing the limitations of your focus and working to compensate for those.

The proper practice of time-blocking may make it possible for you to accomplish more throughout your day without adding too much extra effort on your part.

You just need to be prepared for the fact that you will have to be willing to dedicate a little extra time towards practicing a new way of planning and getting things done. It takes some getting used to, but it can pay off in a big way.

…It’s called the 85 percent rule, and it says that by committing to just 85 percent, the output will often be 100 percent–if not more  -Elon Musk

How to start the time blocking method?

You can begin the time-blocking method any time that you want, but you need to take those first few baby steps in the right direction before the rest of it naturally falls into place.

The best thing to do is start with a pen and paper and a list of things you want to get done. Try to write an estimated amount of time that you expect each task to take, and also create some method of sorting out which tasks are the most important to you.

You need to do all of this because you need to make sure you know exactly where to put your energy and how much of that energy needs to go towards each thing.

If you do that, you stand a great chance of making the best possible decisions about how you will spend your time.

Many people start by creating blocks of time that are relatively short and that they know they can stick to. That is a great way to do things. Don’t forget to schedule in some breaks after a stretch of time when you are focused and doing your work. This is the only way to give your mind the rest that you know that it needs, and your brain will surely appreciate you for doing exactly that.

Start small like this and you should build up some discipline and strength to keep going. The more you practice, the better you will get.

Time-blocking is a method practiced by everyday people and the business gurus among us as well. There is something very special about tapping into the known biology of the brain to find the results that you need from within yourself, and you should not let go of that feeling for anything.

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