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.

#225: A Different Kind of Happy

June 16, 2015 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 30 minutes

TOPIC: You can't have ALL the phone calls.

This week, Dan and Merlin battle Skype to talk about Dan't hissing floor, text editing on iOS, plus more followup on WWDC announcements.

Spotlight on a second look at last week's conversation about how we do and don't communicate.

#224: Sugar Pills and a Pack of Cigarettes

June 9, 2015 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 52 minutes

TOPIC: Poundsign Communication

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about evolutions in how we do and don't communicate with each other.

#223: Normal is Whatever is There

June 2, 2015 at 1:15PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

TOPIC: Interstitial time and why you want it back.

This week, after some preliminary discussion of smoking and the children who throw rocks and run track, Dan and Merlin answer questions from listeners.

#222: Full-Stack Obsessive

May 28, 2015 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

Merlin and Dan use The Aviator as a jumping-off point to talk about OCD as it relates to perfectionism, creativity, and drive in the workplace. They discuss rituals and their consequences, the importance of mise en place, and eliminating disruptive processes.

Also, Merlin invokes the term "workflows".

#221: Minimally Viable Interruption

May 19, 2015 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Time, Stones, and Giving Yourself a Break

Just…give yourself permission to not feel like a dick today. Especially if you think you don't deserve it.

#220: Canadian Gentle

May 12, 2015 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 33 minutes

TOPIC: Hopeless and Impossible.

This week, Dan and Merlin, delve deeper into the impossibly hopeless nature of email.

#219: At Sixes and Sevens

May 5, 2015 at 1:45PM • 1 hour 36 minutes

TOPIC: Jumping Over the Precipice.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about what to be courageous about and when. It's rarely as easy or as simple as it seems.

#218: The Tigers in Your Kitchen

April 28, 2015 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

TOPIC: Fear, Anxiety, and Existential Whack-A-Mole

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Color Guard, the science of binge watching, and the uncertain future of podcasts.

But, mainly, they talk a lot about fear and anxiety. Deep dive here. How are fear and anxiety different? What's a habitual thought feel like? And, what are some little ways to start gently climbing out?

#217: The Worst Most Advanced Teenager

April 21, 2015 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 59 minutes

TOPIC: Take it personal and make it personal.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about culture, solipsism, hiring, and needle-moving things.

#216: Safety Sword

April 14, 2015 at 6:45PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

TOPIC: Kremlinology and Verbing

This week, Dan and Merlin follow-up on Dan's neighbor and The Trailer Incident. They also undertake a rather circuitous exploration of how little we understand about how stuff gets made. This leads to a semi-useful discussion of how the verbs we verb do and don't constitute the nouns we noun—and when we realize that.