HowIWorkDavid Kelly suggested his colleagues around the world participate in this How I Work series. I think it’s a great idea, and here’s my contribution. This is how I work.


My home base is Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; I work in El Segundo, CA.

Current gig

Senior Engineering Specialist in The Aerospace Institute, the educational division of The Aerospace Corporation.

Current mobile device

iPhone 4s

Current computer

Apple Mac Mini/Intel Core i7 processor (home); Windows XP system (work)

One word that best describes how you work


What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Most things Google (Search, Drive, Docs, Gmail), Twitter, and my iPhone.

My home workspace. Yes, that's a kid's show on the large television in front of the fireplace.

My home workspace. Yes, that’s a kid’s show on the large television in front of the fireplace.

What’s your workspace like?

Both workspaces are generally messy, which irritates my wife to no end. At home, I’m loving the Apple Thunderbolt 27″ display, and dual screens really change the way I stay connected.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Share and ask! It’s my answer to the age-old question, “What do you do when you don’t know what to do?” I find by sharing context and concepts I get the response I need that helps put me in the right direction pretty quickly. There are two completely different places I go for this kind of help: my PLN (personal learning network) and a few communities of L&D professionals.

My PLN is usually the first place I turn, sometimes singling out individuals other times small groups. They’re all on Twitter, but a subgroup of us now hang out in a Skype group where it’s very easy to maintain strong relationships.

Communities are the other place I turn: ASTD Instructional Design Network (Yammer), Training Magazine Network (LinkedIn), and the eLearning Guild group (LinkedIn) are good places to go.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

I’m going with my iPad on this. I’ve been eyeing a Chrome Book, but I have all the Google tools on my iPad and a keyboard case that changed the way I use it.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I’m an “explainer” and communicator. I tend to see where miscommunication happens and step in to help restore communication.

What do you listen to while you work?

Usually nothing. I love music so much it’s a distraction while working.

Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?

Many of my friends have heard this from me before. I was adopted at birth and only recently met my birth mom and family. Throughout my adult life I kept learning more and more about myself, ultimately deciding I was more extroverted than I had thought (my parents were basically introverts). Now that I’ve met my birth mom and several of my siblings, I believe I was born an extrovert and it took decades to learn that about myself.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I used to live on 5-6 hours a night. Now I enjoy shutting off the mind after work and get 6-8.

Fill in the blank. I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.

Everyone in my PLN

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I have several, here are a few.
1) If it’s not right, take the time to get/do it right.
2) Being liked isn’t important; being respected is.
3) Learn from your mistakes.

Others who’ve participated in How I Work

Thanks for reading!


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