43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.


24,000 Times Per Year

Seth’s Blog: What Matters Now: get the free ebook

A few months ago, Seth Godin asked about 70 people to talk about a word or phrase related to their own idea of What Matters Now. He collected them all into one big ol’ file, and now you can download a PDF of all those contributions, including pieces by folks like Elizabeth Gilbert, Kevin Kelly, Steven Pressfield, and, improbably enough, yours truly.

My essay’s called, Enough.


Sometimes, I forget to eat lunch. So, 3:30 arrives, and I attack an infant-sized hillock of greasy takeout. I inhale it, scarcely breathing, a condemned man with minutes ‘til dawn.

Two minutes after stopping, yes; I feel like I’m going to die. Filled with regret and shrimp-induced torpor, I groan the empty promise of the glutton: “never again.”

What happened? How’d I miss when I’d had enough?

I wonder the same thing about folks who check for new email every 5 minutes, follow 5,000 people on Twitter, or try to do anything sane with 500 RSS feeds.

Some graze unlimited bowls of information by choice. Others claim it’s a necessity of remaining employed, landing sales, or “staying in the loop.” Could be. What about you?

How do you know when you’ve had “enough?”

Not everything, all the time, completely, forever. Just enough. Enough to start, finish, or simply maintain.

Unfortunately, foodbabies only appear after it’s too late. And, if your satiety’s gauged solely by whether the buffet’s still open, you’re screwed. Like the hypothalamus-damaged rat, you’ll eat until you die.

Before the next buffet trip, consider asking, “How do I know what I need to know — just for now?”

Then savor every bite.


Wanna read more of these? Download the PDF of What Matters Now, or view it here using this squirrely widget from that totally annoying Scribd site.

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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