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.



#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.


#30: I'm Not Working in an Abattoir

August 23, 2011 at 10:45AM • 60 minutes

With Dan on sabbatical, Merlin is joined by Jonathan Coulton to talk about traveling, horn sections, and Jonathan’s new album, Artificial Heart.

Special guest Jonathan Coulton.


#29: I Download FLAC

August 16, 2011 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

With Dan on sabbatical, Merlin is joined by TV’s Rob Corddry (Children’s Hospital, The Daily Show, Hot Tub Time Machine) to talk about Getting Things Done, writing, fear, and finding success as a blood-soaked clown.

Special guest Rob Corddry.


#28: One Little Red Egg

August 9, 2011 at 4:45PM • 1 hour 25 minutes

Dan and Merlin talk about kid stuff, including the threat of Hot Wheels® donation, the inevitability of skinned knees, the nefariousness of the hospital gift basket, plus an important way every Dad has to go pro.


#27: Danny, Hold the License Plate

August 2, 2011 at 4:30PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

Merlin and Dan discuss the shameful state of film school, the realities of Ape Law, Merlin's rock opera, and the subliminal downside of Spongebob's big promotion.


#26: Spaghetti Guy Hits Close to Home

July 29, 2011 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

This week Wutang Dan and The MZA bring the ruckus to finding a job, selling your Mustang, and putting your house on the market: remember that you can't negotiate with reality, Merlin can't do anything to make you love him, enthusiasm is irreplaceable, and you've got to find your position of strength. Protect ya neck!


#25: My Food Court of Functionality

July 22, 2011 at 6:15PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Dan and Merlin talk about nerds getting problems and about using Markdown in BBEdit, Textmate or any text app because you need to find tools that remove friction, not distractions.