A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who plans his day in 5-minute slots, constantly multitasks, and avoids phone calls

REUTERS/Steve NesiusElon Musk.


Elon muskREUTERS/Steve NesiusElon Musk.



  • Elon Musk is so busy running both Tesla and SpaceX that he schedules his day out into five-minute slots.
  • Musk finds time to sleep six hours a night, despite working between 85 to 100 hours each week.
  • The billionaire finds time to spend with his five children during the workweek, but said in 2013 that he still checks his email when he is with them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Elon Musk is one busy guy.

The billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX generally spends a full workweek at each of his two companies, wolfing down lunch in five minutes and skipping phone calls for productivity’s sake.

So it’s not surprising that his daily life is pretty jam-packed.

Based on previous interviews, Business Insider pieced together an estimation of what an average day looks like for Musk.


Musk kicks off his day bright and early, rising at about 7 a.m. In a Reddit AMA, he said he usually gets “almost exactly 6 hours on average.”

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Musk usually skips breakfast. Occasionally, he will slow down long enough to grab a quick coffee and an omelette.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Source: Auto Bild


One thing he always makes time for, no matter what? Showering. He once wrote on Reddit that it had a greater positive impact on him than any of his other daily habits.

James Glover/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Once he’s up, Musk launches into a blistering schedule that breaks his time into a series of five-minute slots. The entrepreneur has been known to work 85 to 100 hours a week, and he estimates that 80% of his time at work is spent on engineering and design.

Paul Sakuma/AP

Sources: Inc., The Independent, Y Combinator


No two days are the same for Musk. He spends Mondays and Fridays at SpaceX in Los Angeles. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, he heads to the Bay Area to work at Tesla. Quartz estimates that he spends an average of 42 hours a week working at Tesla and 40 hours a week working at SpaceX. He also told Y Combinator that he usually spent about half a day working at the artificial intelligence nonprofit OpenAI.

Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Source: Quartz, Y Combinator


On the weekends, it’s more of a toss-up. Sundays are usually spent travelling or staying at his Bel Air mansion. On Saturday, he either works at SpaceX …

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Source: Business Insider


… or spends time with his five young sons. Speaking about his kids in 2013, he said: “What I find is I’m able to be with them and still be on email. I can be with them and still be working at the same time … If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to get my job done.”

Mark Lennihan/AP

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider


Multitasking is a crucial part of Musk’s strategy, which he calls “batching.” Musk often works on his phone while sitting in meetings.

Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Inc.


To keep his work day on track, Musk forgoes most phone calls in favour of email and texts. He also prefers to use an obscure email address to prevent people from spamming his inbox.

Source: Inc.


He doesn’t spend much time on meals. Musk usually takes his lunch during a meeting, and he manages to wolf it down in just five minutes.

Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Source: Auto Bild


He ends up getting most of his calories later in the day. “Business dinners are probably where I eat way too much,” he told Auto Bild.

Michael Kovac / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Auto Bild


When it comes to food, one of his favourites is Diet Coke, thanks to “some infernal ingredient.” Musk told Auto Bild that he had since cut back on the soda. CBS previously reported on the tech mogul’s preference for French food, barbecue, and whiskey.

Pool/Reuters

Sources: Auto Bild, CBS


To stay in shape, Musk usually hits the gym about once or twice a week.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Source: Auto Bild


Despite his busy life, he also carves out enough time to read. Some of his favourite titles include the fantasy classic “The Lord of the Rings,” biographies of innovators like Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, and an obscure 87-year-old history book on adventurers called “Twelve Against the Gods.”

Noah Berger/Reuters

Sources: Business Insider, Business Insider


Musk may be a bookworm, but that doesn’t mean he can’t party. The entrepreneur’s legendary bashes have included a birthday party at an English castle that turned into a big game of hide-and-seek, and inviting a knife-thrower to pop balloons that he held between his legs.

Noah Berger/Reuters

Sources: Entrepreneur and Business Insider


When all is said and done, Musk usually doesn’t crash until 1 a.m. That late bedtime isn’t too surprising for a man who’s busy trying to send humans to Mars.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

Source: Entrepreneur

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