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.



#10: At Last the 'Inspiration' Show

March 29, 2011 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

Dan and Merlin try to remove the airquotes from "inspiration" by talking about what it's great for (shipping better and more interesting stuff), what it's terrible for (getting started). Also covered: Dan's Old Testament name(s), part of Merlin's body that was once believed to be inspired by air, the problem with Some Hot Chick Typing in Her Underwear, TKTKTK writing tips, plus Batgirl. Always with the Batgirl.


#9: Out of Scope!

March 22, 2011 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

Dan and Merlin improvise topics this week and get from Synechode, NY to dopamine, being scared and being safe, believing your thoughts and coloring your dreams, and solving problems by moving your hands instead of thinking.


#8: Little Velvet Hands

March 15, 2011 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

This week, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin eighty-six their restaurant jobs—emptying grease traps, handling logs of meat, and sharing what they learned by bringing mostly bad food to America's table. Dan burns velvet hands, Merlin's Mom gives the guy with the coupon a kung fu, and old people want a monkey dish of sauce before they boost all your Sweet'N Low.


#7: Vocational Wheel

March 8, 2011 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 22 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin relate to Richard–a listener in the middle of a quarter life crisis working jobs he doesn't like–with stories from their pasts, suggestions to combat the cascade of seriousness, and some first steps for breaking out of the vocational wheel.


#6: Expectational Debt

March 1, 2011 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 3 minutes

Merlin Mann is back from Webstock and ready to recap with Dan Benjamin, which leads back to caring first, performance and fear, meditation, hypnotherapy, and why you really need the hard answer instead just more tips.


#5: Chigger Bites on the Bus Driver

February 15, 2011 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 19 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talk about the black art of paying attention to the right things, how lamps are no substitute, that it's hard whether you’re working from home or a cube, being honest about your expertise before looking for independence, and the need to move past inspiration.


#4: Failing with Style

February 8, 2011 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 3 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talk about trying to change other people, how things really aren’t that bad, balancing fear or being driven by fear, leaving capacity for when you get The Pitch, procrastination (eventually), and giving yourself permission to fail in an interesting way. You’re not gonna get black lung from a spreadsheet.


#3: The Second Arrow

February 1, 2011 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discuss ADD, Buddhism, mindfulness, concentration, and insight.


#2: Picture of a Boat

January 25, 2011 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin formulate a five-minute warning tactic before discussing the reality of bringing change to your company, some patterns that work for startups, solving the right problem at the right level, why you can’t find the innovation button, and using PathFinder as a Finder replacement.


#1: Alligator in the Bathroom

January 18, 2011 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 29 minutes

In the inaugural episode of Back to Work, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discuss why they’re doing this show, getting back to work instead of buying berets, the lizard brain, and compare the Shadow of the Mouse to San Francisco, and eventually get to some practical tips for removing friction.