Whatever else you might say about Elon Musk, the polarizing entrepreneur behind Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX, and The Boring Company is certainly productive. Here are a few things he does each day to get so much done.








  • to polarize – divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs
  • to bore – make (a hole) in something with a tool or by digging
  • whiz – a person who is extremely clever at something
  • firm – having a solid, almost unyielding surface or structure
  • to cut sb off – interrupt someone while they are speaking
  • to wander to move slowly away from a fixed point or place
  • to vouch for sb – to provide evidence or guarantee something on their behalf
  • to tout sth – attempt to sell (something), typically by a direct or persistent approach
  • to swap – to take part in an exchange of
  • conveyor belt – a continuous moving band of fabric, rubber, or metal used for transporting objects from one place to another
  • to bite the bullet – decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over



What do you think about the 5 tips Elon gives on how to increase productivity? Discuss in pairs, small groups, or with your teacher.

  • Don’t bother with a business plan.
  • Immediately end a pointless conversation.
  • Walk out on useless meetings.
  • Decide rather than deliberate.
  • Don’t be afraid to contradict yourself.

Practice Makes Perfect

Use the glossary words and expressions to fill in the sentences. Make sure to use the correct form. Go to Inc.com to find out more.

to polarize     to bore     whiz     firm     to cut somebody off     to wander  

  to vouch for somebody     to tout something     to swap     conveyor belt  

  to bite the bullet

  1. Jo was one of those ________ kids who are millionaires by the time they’re 25.
  2. Halfway through the meeting my mind started ________
  3. The debate is becoming ________ and there seems to be no middle ground.
  4. I decided I had to ________ and take a couple of math classes even though I knew they were hard.
  5. The government remains ________ in its opposition to tax reform.
  6. When he got a job in a bank, he had ________ his jeans and T-shirt for a suit.
  7. We could get ________ – the battery in my phone is low.
  8. The minister has been ________ these ideas for some time.
  9. The workmen ________ through the rock.
  10. In my last job, I felt I was on a ________, with no time to think creatively.
  11. Patricia has checked the reports and can ________ the accuracy of the information.

ANSWERS: 1. whiz 2. to wander 3. polarized 4. bite the bullet 5. firm 6. to swap 7. cut off 8. touting 9. bored 10. conveyor belt 11. vouch for




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