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.

#201: Never Enough Bathrooms

December 23, 2014 at 4:45PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

TOPIC: The Opacity of the Stack

In this depressing holiday episode, Dan and Merlin talk about how tenuous our modern infrastructures feel. How great it is when everything in the stack "just works"; how increasingly seldom all the pieces work; and how frustrating it can be to figure out exactly what's broken.

#200: Blitzkriegscheiße

December 16, 2014 at 3:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

TOPIC: He'll only do three of these.

This week, Dan and Merlin mark their 200th episode by responding to listener feedback and talking about Led Zeppelin and lunch tables.

#199: Merlin Mann's Best of 2014

December 9, 2014 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

TOPIC: When You Love a Voice.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about podcasts they're loving right now. And, yeah, Merlin rants a little about overthinking and fetishizing podcast production.

#198: Gardening Leave

December 2, 2014 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 18 minutes

TOPIC: Time to reboot.

This week, Dan and Merlin respond to a note from Listener Tim on how to stay busy and active during his garden leave. The Boys encourage him to experiment with the personal rebooting that's almost impossible to do when you're stuck at an official jobby-job.

#197: Way of the Brown Lego

November 25, 2014 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

TOPIC: Mail Bag.

This week, Dan & Merlin respond to listener email and toots. Specifically, dealing with passive-aggressive team members, bulbous "CC:" lines, and what constitutes "stability."

#196: The Circle of Lice

November 20, 2014 at 3:45PM • 1 hour 48 minutes

TOPIC: Hakuna Matata.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about home pest control, misleading beef jerky, and becoming a more conservative electronics consumer.

#195: Prima Facie Butter Coffee

November 11, 2014 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

TOPIC: Working alone together.

This week, Dan and Merlin look at the many ways workplaces have changed over the years, and how they can be great or not so great.

#194: The Company of a Clown

November 4, 2014 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

TOPIC: What gets us on the moon?

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about varieties of clowns, rogue walruses, bloody elevator buttons, taking risks, and catching footballs.

#193: Disappointment Delivery Mechanism

October 28, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

TOPIC: You Are That Little Dot.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about notifications, beeps, bloops, flashes, and all the stuff we have zero control over. There's about a million ways people can contact us and just as many ways we can unintentionally disappoint every one of them.

There's sanity in realizing which stuff you actually control, which stuff you have to let go, and how many of the expectations in-between can be reasonably managed.

#192: Party City Trophies

October 21, 2014 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

TOPIC: Reinforcement, Aikido, and Fear

This week, Dan and Merlin try to tackle positive versus negative reinforcement.