Back to Work

Back to Work

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.

Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.


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#163: Head Lice :-(

March 18, 2014 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

TOPIC: LEGO and Expertise

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about LEGO and what becoming a Master Builder can teach us about expertise.

Also: tooth fairies, binder clips, and the pedagogical warning shot.

WARNING: This episode of B2W contains information about holiday-related personalities that may be of a sensitive nature. Listener discretion is advised.


#162: We're All Waiting in the Same Line

March 11, 2014 at 4:15PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

TOPIC: ““Experiencing Issues”” with Customer Service

This week, Dan and Merlin analyze what's really going wrong when we get bad customer service. Spoiler: The brand is only as sound as its day-to-day implementation.


#161: Zeitgeist Helmut

March 4, 2014 at 7:00AM • 1 hour 32 minutes

TOPIC: Time, Sleep, and Aspirations

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about impossible trade-offs and the benefits of remembering this is actually your life.


#160: Reverse Spider Sense

February 25, 2014 at 6:00PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about shaving, lights, and Dan's amazing new superpower.


#159: You Become Your Catch Phrases

February 18, 2014 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 27 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about Library Elf, app launchers like Quicksilver and Alfred, Stanley Kubrick, pushing people to create greatness, not knowing what you like until you see it, the typefaces of Moon, and more.


#158: Merlin-Sized Hole

February 11, 2014 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Why We Have Doors.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about internet nostalgia, hacking vs. whacking, and why we have doors for a reason.


#157: Non-Dominant Hand

February 4, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

TOPIC: The Spreadsheet of You

This week, Dan and Merlin talk more about sleep and how self-quantization can goose your mindfulness.


#156: Not the Monk I Used to Be

January 28, 2014 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 41 minutes

TOPIC: Better Sleep Habits

This week, Dan and Merlin do a deep dive on building better sleep habits with a focus on the paradoxes and planning of daily activities that can make all the difference.


#155: Newton's Fifth Law of Politeness

January 21, 2014 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 31 minutes

TOPIC: Isolation and Identity

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about civility, identity, Florida, and how you can't unsee Idiocracy.


#154: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

January 14, 2014 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

TOPIC: The Attention Stack

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about—what?—maybe the attention stack. How what we pay attention to (and, yes spend our time on) can't help but affect how we see, think, feel, and decide.

Not happy with any of those things? Start working your way down the stack.