Elon Musk keeps track of every minute he spends at work. He runs multiple billion-dollar companies in highly competitive markets. In addition to SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City, Musk started yet another business in late 2016 called The Boring Company.
He was asked in March 2017 how much time he spends on this new fourth company.He said he spent 2% of his time on it. Now, some people might hear that and think he is making an estimate. In reality, though, Musk could tell you to the minute how much time he spends on each of his companies because for a long time, according to Ashlee Vance’s biography, he has kept track of every minute of time he spends on his work.
Why does he do this? So at the end of the year he can analyze where he is spending his time and make adjustments for the next year.
I’ve been tracking my time, too, for a few years now. I track my work every day. I can tell you to the minute how I spent my time in 2017. Here is a brief analysis of the time I spent working for myself on my creative projects and businesses.
How I Spent My Time in 2017
Top Fifteen Projects:
- The Religion Teacher Email: 112:07
- Weekly Review, Daily Review, Morning Preview: 97:22
- Speaking Events: 82:12
- The Religion Teacher Member Content (Worksheets, Videos, Design): 73:28
- The Religion Teacher (Launches, Webinars): 64:57
- Writing Books: 63:39
- The Religion Teacher Blog (Posts, Redesign): 61:09
- The Religion Teacher Products: 41:19
- Book Marketing (Praying the Angelus): 40:21
- JaredDees.com (Daily Blog, Monthly Reports, Other Writing): 35:05
- The Religion Teach Live Lessons: 31:12
- The Religion Teacher Member Communication: 20:54
- The Religion Teacher Accounting: 19:54
- The Religion Teacher Newsletter: 18:58
- Freelance Writing: 12:41
2017 Time Analysis
I’ll be honest, I don’t know the best way to do an analysis of all this data. In broad terms, here is what I think of how I spent my time in 2017 and how I would like to adjust my focus for 2018:
- Customer Service – Spend less time answering emails. So much of the time I spent in email was focus on customer service. I need to figure out the best ways to optimize that time I spend on it or get help to handle many of the requests for me.
- Speaking – I really enjoy speaking at conferences, but it is not the primary driver of my business or personal income. My speaking schedule will be just as full next year, but I need to make it as efficient as possible. Plus, this tends to take a lot of time away from my family.
- More Email Marketing – In another post, I will share my 2018 business plan. Email marketing is going to be a big part of my strategy next year (again). The “newsletter” should be much higher on the list.
- Write More Books – If I want to master the art of writing books, then I need to spend more than 63 hours a year on it. It would take me 159 years to attain those 10,000 hours of deliberate practice needed to become a master writer! It is something I need to build into my daily schedule next year because the demands of the website business are always going to be there and be more pressing.
- Reviews – I spent a lot of time organizing and thinking about my work rather than actually working. What parts of those daily and weekly routines can I remove?
For a month-by-month analysis of how I spend my time, read my Monthly Project Reports.