Colin Marshall talks to Merlin Mann, thinker, writer, and speaker on time, attention, and creative work. Following up on his June 2009 visit, he’s back on the show to talk about a great many things, not least his new podcast Back to Work with Dan Benjamin, a program about productivity, communication, barriers, constraints, tools — and, nearly always, fear. The conversation also ventures into other, unusually personal topics, including dealing with entrepreneurs, trying not to hate the internet, and having one hundred dollars in the bank.
Also huffduffed as…
RAIN Group Co-President discusses how to best explain the value you offer so that people want to work with you.
Simon Bisley was one of those creators that had a profound impact on me when I was in my teens. Coming across his work in Slaine was amazing. It was violent, over the top and extreme in all the right ways. Simon has continued to make work and seems to never slow down. We cover a million different things in this interview, but somehow don’t even discuss what he is working on right now.
Here’s a confession. I want to be able to think like Merlin Mann.
He’s really smart on the topic of productivity, and in fact some part of his success comes from 43Folders.com which is a reference to David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. But his work is not just about productivity. It’s about creativity and purpose and striving to stay human and sane in a busy and distracting world and doing work that matters, doing Great Work. And he does all of this in funny, provocative, iconoclastic way.
In fact, writing this introduction and listening to the interview again has already provoked me to shift some of my own commitments in an effort to, as he puts it, “identify and destroy small return bullshit. Shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful.” Great stuff indeed, and this is a wise and funny interview.
In our conversation we talk about:
* How the present is a “remedial course for the future” – and the pros and cons of those ‘creation myth’ stories of where people find clues for their Great Work * The importance of an open heart and just where that might lead you * The connection between productivity and creativity * The two levels of prioritization (and how freeing it is to know that) * And quite a bit more
You can follow Merlin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hotdogsladies
The interviews are all between 25 and 30 minutes long. You can either download them here as mp3s, or go to iTunes, type in “Great Work Interviews” and you’ll see them all there.