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.



#40: Dirty South Is Off the Menu

November 8, 2011 at 8:15PM • 1 hour 39 minutes

Dan and Merlin talk about what it means for Google to change the meaning of "plus," and how it might bolster the production of "stuff and needy."

They also consider options for "getting unstuck" with a creative project—how, sometimes, the constraints can help a lot more than the options.


#39: A Source of Rice with Velocity

November 1, 2011 at 5:15PM • 1 hour 20 minutes

On strength and tolerance.

Dan and Merlin talk about the many facets of strength, including the complexity of knowing what to be strong about, to whom, and when.

It's about way more than nailing the "clean and jerk" or yelling at Sips-His-Coffee-Really-Loud Guy. It's also about accepting all the things they just can't stand about you.

Also covered: the inescapability of Italian disco, maintaining an unassailable lawn, confronting skinny ladies in heels, negotiating D-minus hip-hop, and finding the will to spelunk all the way down the personal productivity stack.


#38: Sorry. You Can't Have a Candle.

October 25, 2011 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 19 minutes

On improving presentation culture.

Dan and Merlin talk about bombing the deck, advancing the slides, and striving to improve the self-perpetuating bad culture of presentations.

Slide?!?

(Also, kid germs in the spaghetti, meeting the angry corn guy, and moving closer to the metal with our Showbot hero.)


#37: It's Never Not Everywhere

October 18, 2011 at 4:00PM • 2 hours 4 minutes

This week, Merlin loves and hates iCloud while loving and REALLY loving Dropbox. He and Dan observe angry corn, discuss emailing files to yourself, wonder what to do with an ugly photo, and explore Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle.


#36: Writing on the Wind

October 11, 2011 at 9:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

Merlin Mann talks with Dan Benjamin about his dogged obsession with the flexibility of index cards—for propping up tables, giving very small cuts, and getting babies hygienically removed. Then, there is much talk of graphing your focal length against your time and attention.


#35: Why My Pants Were On Fire

September 27, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 34 minutes

How to handle job interviews.

Merlin and Dan can't solve the problem of interviews being dumb, but Merlin will tell you what is wrong with you, how long you'll have to wait for your resume to get you a job, how Larry Wall interviews for a Perl job, and whether or not the answer is always Yes, like they were just telling Stephen (yes, Hawking).


#34: Rectangular Door Conspiracy

September 20, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 4 minutes

How to say "no."

Merlin talks with Dan about saying No to toilet paper diamonds, mints on pillows, and things you don't have the wallet for instead of saying Yes to a crate of bananas you don't have enough information about or giving a qualified Yes to planning Christmas parties you don't have any interest in.


#33: The Hypocrite You Can Live With

September 13, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin have a totally natural emotional reaction to the unreasonable demands they place on themselves after reading The Spongebob Report. Maybe they wouldn't have offended non-ex-Marines if they had just taken some time and consulted their Manager of Expectations.


#32: The Beertruck Scenario

September 6, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about Dan's sabbatical, hotdogs, services, triggers, Quicksilver, Launchbar, and why there's no 'I' in 'ordnance.'


#31: You Can Polish AC/DC All Day Long

August 30, 2011 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

With Dan on sabbatical, Merlin is joined by John Roderick of The Long Winters to talk about life as a bull in a china closet, craving real-world constraints, making better records, and being banned for life from Interpol’s corn chip bowl.

Special guest John Roderick.