Multi-tasking is like driving and french-kissing

I’ve thought about writing my thoughts on Back to Work for a while now. Here’s some stuff I gleaned from Back to Work 202. It isn’t necessarily what Merlin or Dan said (if it is, it’ll be in quotes), just my personal highlights.

  • You shouldn’t organize anything you don’t want or need.”

  • I also really love throwing stuff out. It feels incredibly cathartic, and I rarely miss things I actually toss.
  • I don’t have any shoeboxes of stuff. Is this a thing people have?
  • I’m definitely cautious about putting stuff in plastic boxes. If I need to use something regularly, that systen puts it enough out of my mind that I don’t remember it existing. If I don’t want it in my life, it’s taking up physical space I could use for other things. (Apartment living helps with this issue)
  • You should not have anything in your life that is not contributing to the life you’d like to have.” - Merlin quoting It’s All Too Much”
  • I’m too sick to go to the doctor”
  • You’re not really throwing away your childhood by throwing away stuff from your childhood
  • If a time traveler hasn’t come back to stop you, your decisions haven’t been all that bad.”
  • I’m fascinated by the idea that the more money people make, the less likely they are to do something that isn’t making them more money.
  • Merlin’s breakdown of how people think successful multitasking works is exactly how I work when I’m multitasking”: I’m not so much juggling as allowing things to slowly boil while I do other stuff. This used to be easier back when there were loading times on computers, when a file export could take long enough for a smoke break.
  • Essentially, multitasking is really just being pretty good about switching between two actions, not doing two things at the same time. The cooking metaphor works here.
  • High skill + Low Challenge = Relaxation
  • Multi-tasking is like driving and french kissing. Before you say you’re great at it, ask around.”
  • I loved Dan’s point about wanting to have had today’s connectivity in the past. He doesn’t wax nostalgic about a simpler time, which is something I completely get. Doing the things an iPhone is good at before smart phones just sucked.


Merlin Mann


Previous post
More Things January 14, 2015 A Blanket Statement on Pop Culture. “So let no one think that in order to be defended against censorship of any kind, let alone the terminal horrors
Next post
Fran’s Not Here 3 - Cat Cracking Listen to or download episode 3 Drinking in hotels or whatever.