"Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week," Musk said last year, as he recruited tech lovers to apply for positions within SpaceX, Tesla, Boring Company and Neuralink. The Tesla CEO admitted "there are easier places to work" but added, "if you love what you do, it (mostly) doesn't feel like work."
The statement, which Musk made on Twitter in November 2018, came as a surprise to some fans. A handful argued that Musk may lose some solid employees "because of burnout," while others said an employee's success should not be measured "in hours, but in impact."
This week, Musk addressed his grueling work schedule once again after a Twitter account called "Uber Facts" claimed he works "between 80 and 90 hours a week."
"@elonmusk is this true?" a curious Twitter user asked, referring to the stated fact.
Musk confirmed the statement was, in fact, accurate — and actually may be a little moderate.
"In recent years, hours were much higher. Don’t recommend though — bad for health & happiness. But no choice or Tesla would die. Hope to reduce to 80 hours next year," the 47-year-old replied.
Years prior, Musk claimed he worked seven days a week, averaging more than 100 hours.
"I was, there were times when, some weeks ... I don’t know. I haven’t counted exactly, but I would just sort of sleep for a few hours, work, sleep for a few hours, work, seven days a week. Some of those days must have been 120 hours or something nutty," he previously told the podcast Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, per Vox. "You’re gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week. Now we’re down to 80 or 90. It’s pretty manageable."
Running Tesla has been particularly challenging for Musk. The automotive company reported a $702 million loss in the first quarter of 2019.
"It is incredibly difficult to survive as a car company. Incredibly difficult," he added.
While Musk may be among those who choose to accomplish goals over concern for people's happiness, the 47-year-old has attributed his success to collaboration with "great people" over the years.
"A company is a group of people organized to create a product or service, and that product or service is only as good as the people in the company — and how excited they are about creating it. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. Without them, I would have accomplished very little. I just happen to be the face of the companies," he told Forbes in 2016.