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An Elon Musk Productivity Tool Can Reduce Your Stress

By Chris Brown

However you feel about billionaire Elon Musk, he is no doubt one of the most productive individuals alive. He is deeply involved in creating and running five industry-disrupting companies (Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, OpenAI, and Neuralink) while still finding time to exercise, father seven children, and guest-host Saturday Night Live. Elon revealed his productivity secret as a special type of time blocking method called the "five-minute rule." He uses it throughout his entire workday to accomplish a large range of tasks. I've used it successfully to complete multiple high-priority tasks over a shortened, multi-hour period, including this very article. Elon's time blocking can reduce the health-adverse stress that comes from accumulating, unfinished responsibilities and procrastination.

Why Productivity Matters for Health

Ninety percent of all doctors' visits are due to stress-related conditions according to Stress can hurt well-being and lead to early death through problems such as high blood pressure and depression. Stress-inducing anxiety often results from a buildup of incomplete tasks. Completing these "stress points" eases anxiety dramatically and generates momentum for future tasks which further reduces the health problems of chronic stress.

Elon's "Five-Minute Rule" Time Blocking Method

Five-minute time blocking is a productivity tool that seems, at first glance, like it wouldn't work. Prior to trying it myself, I felt that the act of transferring from one task to another would itself suck up the entire five-minute period. In fact, though, the opposite is true. Because the time is limited, my movement and focus is more efficient in any given five-minute period and, in fact, only takes seconds to resume a new task. In that way, after four five-minute sessions I have completed 20-minutes of highly-focused work (rather than the same amount of semi-distracted effort). To prep five-minute time blocking for yourself, grab a paper and pen and complete the below:

  • List all tasks you want to accomplish
  • Estimate the time length it will take to accomplish each task (estimations will improve as you continue to practice)
  • Break down task times into five-minute increments (for example, a 20-minute task will break down into four task chunks)
  • Add up all task chunks
  • Divide that number by 12 to determine the total hours required (make note of any remainders)
  • Write the number of hours required, with a starting time, in five-minute increments (e.g. 12:00, 12:05 p.m., 12:10 p.m. ...)
  • Fill in each five-minute block with an alternating task chunk until all are used up

Once the prep is complete, set a five-minute timer and begin working moving to the next assigned task once the timer goes off. Before you know it, you will have made it through completing the total amount of work for each task.

Utilizing tools, such as Elon's five-minute productivity tool, can help to ease the stress that causes health impacts and potentially early death.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Ammon, Idaho.

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