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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#137: Alice Two Arrows Bob

September 17, 2013 at 3:30pm • 1 hour 24 minutes

TOPIC: Etiquette, Intros, and Endorsements

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the surprisingly complicated topic of email introductions.

Who emails whom? Who gets cc'd and for how long? How much homework are we making (or accepting)? And, thorniest of all, how do you ““introduce”” someone you'd reeeeeeally rather not introduce?


#136: Scared of Your Own Life

September 11, 2013 at 1:15pm • 58 minutes

TOPIC: Fear of Your Own TODO List

This week, Dan and Merlin cover a topic suggested by listener, @jeff_nordstedt: not wanting to look at your todo list.

From capture to completion, there are a million ways to fall off the path. The boys take a deep dive on what those ways might be as well as how to get yourself straightened out and, as you say, back to work.

Honestly. It's why people hate TODO lists. Well. That and the odor.


#135: There's No "I" in Success

September 3, 2013 at 3:30pm • 1 hour 20 minutes

TOPIC: Joss Whedon GTD; Meeting Redux

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about getting specific with your productivity and why every meeting needs an agenda.

Now, take a drink.


#134: A Boss You Don't Even Know About

August 26, 2013 at 8:30pm • 1 hour 29 minutes

TOPIC: Talk Shows, Baseball, and Inboxes.

This week, Dan and Merlin cover a range of topics related to expertise, experience, professional repetition, and management, culminating in a tour of Merlin's current email filtering strategy.


#133: I'm Glad Your Computer Died

August 20, 2013 at 3:45pm • 1 hour 14 minutes

TOPIC: How many keys do you really need?

This week, Dan and Merlin return to the question, "What do you want ten times more of?" and weigh the risks and benefits of increasing the amount of complexity in your life.


#132: C+ Objective Stack

August 13, 2013 at 1:30pm • 1 hour 14 minutes

TOPIC: Fraud vs. Failure

This week, Dan and Merlin dive into what makes us feel like frauds and what makes us feel like failures.


#131: The Peacock Dance of Men

August 7, 2013 at 3:15pm • 1 hour 27 minutes

TOPIC: Power, Yelling, and Airport Kung Fu

This week, Dan and Merlin continue their discussion of power and how it does or doesn't work.

Do real leaders actually talk like the douchebags, serial entrepreneurs, and screamy travelers struggling to imitate them? Not really. That's one way you can tell they're leaders.


#130: Cobb Salad Lawyer

July 30, 2013 at 6:30pm • 1 hour 28 minutes

TOPIC: Delays

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about delays, agency, power, and why yelling at people about your problems rarely helps anyone.


#129: Putting Your Meat by the Pool

July 23, 2013 at 3:15pm • 1 hour 32 minutes

TOPIC: Lists

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about 3½ kinds of lists that can change your game.

Merlin knows a lot about Productivity.


#128: Eating Scones in the Closet

July 19, 2013 at 2:00pm • 1 hour 33 minutes

TOPIC: Time Awareness & Scope Wormholes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why we (and Frank) are terrible at estimating time, as well as what we can do to get better at it.