A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who works in 5-minute slots, skips breakfast, and largely avoids emails

Elon Musk is one busy guy.

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Elon Musk is one busy guy.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

• Elon Musk splits much of his time between SpaceX and Tesla.

• He is the CEO of both companies.

• He plans every minute of his day, and often works through meals.

Elon Musk is one busy guy.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder 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 this real-life Tony Stark.

Take a look at a day in the life of Elon Musk:


Musk kicks off his day bright and early, rising at about 7 a.m. In a Reddit AMA, he said he usually got six hours of shut-eye.

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: Entrepreneur, Business Insider


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

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Source: Auto Bild


One thing he always makes time for, no matter what? Showering. He once told Reddit it was his most important daily habit.

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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.

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.

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Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Source: Quartz, Y Combinator


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

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.”

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider


Multitasking is a crucial part of Musk’s strategy — as is working for as many hours as possible.

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Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Vator News


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

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Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Michael Kovac / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Auto Bild


When it comes to food, one of his favorites 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.

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Pool/Reuters

Sources: Auto Bild, CBS


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

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Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Source: Auto Bild


Despite his busy life, he also carves out enough time to read. Some of his favorite 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.”

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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.

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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 do things like revolutionize the way we drive and send humans to Mars.

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Stephen Lam/Reuters

Source: Entrepreneur