“What did you get done this week?” In some recently revealed texts between Elon Musk and the current CEO of Twitter Parag Agrawal, Elon posed this simple yet difficult to answer question.
There’s more context to this exchange which makes for some juicy Twitter drama, but at a surface level the question is easy. Did you ship anything this week? Going to meetings doesn’t count. Status updates don’t count. Organising your browser tabs and getting to Inbox Zero™ also doesn’t count.
What does count is doing anything that improves the world in any way. Getting the kids dressed and off to school counts. Writing and publishing an essay counts. Helping someone else get their web site working counts. Making progress on a big project
It might be uncomfortable to realise that you in fact did not get anything done this week. You might feel bad because you didn’t launch several rockets containing dozens of satellites, or produce thousands of electric cars (great job if you did though). Not everyone is as productive as Elon Musk, but we all know within ourselves whether we did or did not improve the world or made a difference.
The question that follows is what are you going to do to fix it? We all have unproductive periods of days, weeks, or event months and that’s OK. Don’t let it become the norm. Pick yourself up, reflect on what went wrong, but make sure that next week you can answer the question “what did you get done this week?” with pride and triumph.