Can you change the world on 40 hours per week?

A few weeks ago Elon Musk tweeted about working long hours and changing the world (or not).

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody changed the world on 40 hours a week”

I have let the statement stir for some time augmenting back and forth. It feels like a paradox.

On one hand I believe we can change the world if the full workforce increase its efforts to 80 quality hours per week. Just imagine that YOU can somehow make the world a better place by working 80 hours per week — talk about motivation! For Elon Musk, changing the world is a realistic concept.

On the other hand such a scenario will result in a generation growing up with hardly any contact with their parents — as they are all busy working.

Spending quality time with our children is also a way of making the world a better place — it just takes a long time until the investment pays off.

If the full workforce increase its efforts to spend significantly more quality time with its children I am confident we would make the world a better place for the next generation.

It feels like a paradox. Common sense tells me that we don’t have to work 80 hours per week to change the world. We have to work smarter! But if nobody has Elon Musk’s work ethics, then there will be no more Telsas and no people on Mars for a long, long time. Who knows what else humanity will not see….

What’s your take on it?

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