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.

#207: Vampires in the Wallpaper

February 10, 2015 at 1:45PM • 1 hour 40 minutes

TOPIC: Scoping the Minimally-Viable Me

This week, Dan and Merlin catch up on illness, Marvel comics, and what-have-you, but end up talking a lot about who we really are—who "I" actually am. Merlin eventually slips into an imbued and mildly-psychedelic fugue state that may strike the listener as alternately insightful and insane.

#206: Talking to Santa

January 27, 2015 at 5:00PM • 1 hour 18 minutes

TOPIC: Work as Practice

This week Dan and Merlin chew on some of the numerous eternal imponderables of creative work—with a special focus on "work as practice."

#205: Obsolete, circa 1993

January 21, 2015 at 10:30PM • 2 hours 8 minutes

With Merlin on sabbatical, Dan is joined by John Roderick to discuss his recent visit to Africa, the military, corporate friends, strategic thinking, the Internet, digital books and albums, echoes, playmobil figures, measuring your arms, the tribal world, selling coats on the internet, and more.

#204: Space Geisha

January 13, 2015 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 43 minutes

TOPIC: "I am NOT talking about bartending."

A kind of two-parter this week.

First up, a meditation on invasive thoughts, how they can take over our lives, and how we can maybe learn to deal with them.

Second (starting about 38 minutes in), a VERY SPOILER-HEAVY dissection of the amazing new time travel movie, Predestination.

#203: I Blame the Media.

January 6, 2015 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 31 minutes

TOPIC: The things you did or didn't say.

This week, Dan and Merlin sympathize with their pal Marco's recently becoming "way too popular for a day."

What happens when something we said or wrote gets quoted, misquoted, taken out of context, or amplified a thousand times more than we'd expected?

#202: Choosing is a Radio Button

December 30, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

TOPIC: The Life You Actually Want.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about organization, multitasking and new year's resolutions.

#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.