Elon Musk's 'Timeboxing' Method to Manage Time Effectively

Apply this time management technique and enhance your productivity.
Kashyap Vyas

One of the biggest assets currently in this busy world is time management skills. It can not only help you to be more productive but also takes you a long way in terms of achieving your personal as well as professional goals.

A lot of people wonder ‘what time management is’ and try out various things like making a to-do list or writing down their schedules one day in advance. However, in most cases, people end up getting overwhelmed and either scratch off the list completely or end up only finishing the ‘easier tasks’ while ignoring the most important ones.


Therefore, one important feature of having excellent time management skills is that it helps you focus on identifying more important tasks and prioritize your time accordingly.

Elon Musk is an interesting example of someone who manages his time so well that he can work 100 hours a week and still manage to take time out for his hobbies, family, and fitness.

So, how does he do it? Let’s check it out.

How does Elon Musk manage his time?

Elon Musk is known for using time blocking methods to manage his time effectively. Many people call him ‘superhuman’ for his amazing time management skills.

So, how does he do it? It is simple!

He uses time blocking from the moment he wakes up in the morning where he assigns each time block to a certain task that he needs to accomplish on a given day. This time blocking method can be used for any tasks ranging from eating a healthy diet, writing emails, scheduling meetings, meditating or anything that you would like to do on a particular day.

Following are the steps that you can use in order to manage your time with the help of the time blocking method:

Step 1: Take a piece of paper and divide it into two blocks or columns. The left side can be used for a time where you can divide it into every hour, 5 minutes or even 2 minutes slots. Whatever you prefer!

Step 2:  Write an estimated time on the left that you would need to finish a particular task.

Step 3: Keep a buffer to squeeze-in an unexpected activity or in case you need some extra time on the given task at hand.  

Step 4: Voila, you are ready!

Yes, it is that simple. You can manage your time much better when you have a task allocated to each hour of your day. It also helps you keep your task list for the day more realistic, and you don’t end up putting up huge and unrealistic goals for yourself.

It also saves you from the disappointments of not finishing a task that you thought you would finish.

Another interesting thing that Musk focuses on is the ‘feedback loop.’ He says it is important to think about getting better at a task and you will see improvements in your performance.

Are you still wondering about the science behind time boxing?

Let's check it out in more detail!

What Is Timeboxing?

Timeboxing is amazing if you learn to do it effectively. In simple words, it is a process to merge your to-do list with your calendar.

So, if the question ‘what is time management?’ crosses your mind from time-to-time, timeboxing can help you go a long way.

It can help you in the following ways:

  1. Since you merge the tasks with your calendar, you have a clear idea about your tasks for at least the next two days or sometimes even more. Hence, you can organize your time much better.
  2. If your role requires you to depend on others or collaborate with others, then it positions you in a better and a more organized place.
  3. It keeps a record for you so; at the end of each week or each day, you know exactly how much you accomplished.
  4. It gives you more autonomy and control over your time so you can plan both official and unofficial work better.
  5. It enhances your productivity and makes you feel more positive about your tasks and accomplishments.

According to Parkinson’s Law, if you have more time to finish a task, the overall time that you will take to finish the task will also expand. This holds true for many people and time boxing greatly helps in dealing with that as well.

For example, if you have assigned 2-minutes to write and send an email, you will end up sending that important email within two minutes. However, if you have the whole day to write that email very carefully, you will probably take the whole day.

Hence, most people are more productive if they are short on time and timeboxing helps in dealing with Parkinson's Law. It automatically makes you more productive.

Final Words

To sum up, using Elon Musk’s time management method can help you go a long way with managing your day-to-day activities and also increases your productivity. There have been many studies and research on time management, and Parkinson’s Law seems to hold in most of the cases.

Therefore, one of the best ways to deal with it is to use timeboxing or time blocking methods. You can either choose to be more formal with it and merge your calendar with your to-do list, or you can do it more informally using a pen and a piece of paper.


No matter what method you choose, if you are diligent about it, you will see a massive difference in your output and performance. Elon Musk is a role model for many of us because of his massive achievements, and it would be a great accomplishment if we all could learn some time management skills from him to make ourselves more productive.

When are you trying out these techniques? Get started NOW!

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