Managing Your Mind
3975 Waldenwood • Ann Arbor, MI 48105 • tel/fax (734)761-6498 •
Geri Markel
Managing Your Mind Newsletter
February 2007

Welcome to the February, 2007 edition of the Managing Your Mind Newsletter. The goal of this communication is to help you manage your mind and enhance your work, life, and/or school performance.

During the middle part of each month, you will receive this brief, but practical, communication providing announcements, tips, stories, and resources. The format will develop based on your feedback and input. Feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns, and suggestions.

You'll find the following sections in this issue:



“It Worked For Me”

Sheila’s Story: “I recently had an experience that was a mixture of successes and mistakes, but in the end, was one that made me feel like I’m really making progress. I had several errands to do, so to help me stay focused, I made a list. Not only did I make a list, I pictured my route and numbered the spots in the order I would stop. They were all within a mile stretch. I was proud of myself! First, I went to the bank and made my deposit. Next, I went to the tailor to have a pair of pants hemmed. On to stop #3 to return an item I had bought earlier in the week. I gathered my stuff from the car, locked the door with the remote key control and began walking into the store. Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t have my purse. I needed it because the receipt was in it. I figured I had left it in the car, so I went back to fetch it. It wasn’t there! Momentary panic set in—and then I remembered that I had set it down in the fitting room when I tried on my pants. This was unusual and a little scary to forget my purse. So, I quickly drove back to the tailor. But in a neighborhood I know very well, I drove right past the driveway! Fortunately, I was able to make the next turn and navigate back to the correct building, but I thought to myself, ‘What’s going on? I never do this. Am I going nuts?’ Then it hit me: I was being attacked by the Demon of Fatigue!! I had been up very early in the day, I hadn’t eaten lunch, and I was distracted. It felt so good to be able to NAME what was going on! Recognizing my demon made me feel relieved and in control of the situation: I would soon be able to head home and take a nap. I realized that in preparing my errand list ahead of time, I caught my error (no receipt, no purse) immediately and was able to retrace my steps quickly and logically. Next time, I could add a checklist to my errand list to make sure I have everything after each stop. I could also carry a snack in the car to recharge between errands. All in all, I know I’m on the right track in managing this better!”

If you've used a tip from a Managing Your Mind, LLC book or seminar or you've come up with one of your own, please share with me by calling (734) 761-6498 or emailing


Goofs and Glitches

Can you top this “oops” experience? William is hosting several engineering clients from overseas. He spends the week transporting, educating and entertaining his clients in addition to accomplishing all of his regular duties. Near the end of their visit, he loads them all into a company van for an overnight trip to headquarters in another state, where he is to make an important presentation to them and to his management. Four hours later at the hotel, he discovers that he never loaded his own briefcase into the van—the presentation on his computer is still locked in his office! He ad libs with a few borrowed materials but it’s not the shining moment he envisioned…

Let's laugh together about our experiences. If you have one to share, send it to


Strategies for Success:

Deep into winter, you may realize that the snow isn’t the only thing that’s got you in over your head. If, for example, you’re operating a business out of your home—like 50% of all U.S. companies (Wyss, Miami Herald, September 27, 2006)—you might consider following Tip #27 from my booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways to Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress. To paraphrase, “Reach out when you need a helping hand with a task or activity.” If you’ve ever thought that you needed an assistant—you probably do, even if it’s only on a temporary basis. Take a minute to jot down three or four tasks that you’d like an assistant to accomplish. Then estimate how much time or energy you’d save if you hired someone. Ask yourself, “If I hire someone, what positive consequences would result?” Perhaps, you’ll be lucky enough to find a gem like mine. Read about Jane Heinken in the section: Spotlight on Staff.


Ask the Coach:

Query: A reader contacted me to ask about her child, who is a college freshman. Her daughter had been viewed as bright earlier in her academic career but now school personnel had suggested that the daughter talk to her doctor about ADHD. For years, she had had problems concentrating and organizing and was feeling depressed because she was trying so hard but wasn’t making sufficient progress. When mother and daughter went to a doctor, they were told, “There is no such thing as Adult ADHD. Go home and get over it.” The parent asks, “What are some other options?!”

Reply: I am so sorry that your daughter had this unfortunate experience. First, get another doctor! ADHD is a “real” condition described in the medical literature and services for this condition are reimbursed by insurance companies. Second, every college has an office for services for students with disabilities. She can go to this office for information and support. Perhaps they can do a screening, or make a referral to some one with expertise in this area, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or neuropsychologist. Third, you can contact organizations like the Association on Higher Education and Disability (, Children and Adults with ADD (, and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder ( Fourth, you can access other resources such as: ADD and the College Student: A Guide for High School and College Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (P. Quinn, Ed., 2001), Coaching Students with AD/HD: Issues and Answers (P. Quinn, N. Ratey, and T. Maitlan, 2000), and ADDitudes Magazine (

Send questions about adolescents or adults experiencing performance problems at school, work or home. Email your questions to


Student Corner:

“Time Management for Graduate Students” was a recent topic for a seminar at the University of Michigan. The strategies that they found most useful are ones that can be used by students of any age and by their parents.

1. Post a four-month calendar (an entire semester) in a visible location to maintain a focus on due dates for all papers, projects, and exams.

2. When studying/memorizing information, plan to work intensely for short periods, such as twenty minutes. Then take a short power break of not more than five minutes before resuming study.

3. Impose an electronic lockdown during study sessions to reduce distractions from cell phones, iPods, computers, and televisions.


Parent Corner:

Parents and students alike have questions and concerns about the SAT and the ACT. Encourage your child to attend presentations provided by his or her school. As an example, Community High School, Ann Arbor, MI is sponsoring a seminar for its students about “SAT and ACT Test Stress” on Feb. 21, 2007. Also encourage your child to take practice tests such as the PSAT or PLAN and review the results with a school or private college counselor or academic coach. You can access resources on college admission tests at websites such as and

Parents always want to learn what roles they can play in the study process. If, like most families, you spend much of your time on the run and in your car, you might try Bizer and Markel’s new, 3-CD package: Parent’s Guide to the SAT & ACT: Practical Advice to Help You and Your Teen. It will be available in March at You can find the print version, entitled Peterson’s Parent’s Guide to the SAT & ACT: Practical Advice to Help You and Your Teen, at


Spotlight on Staff

Jane Heineken Meet Jane Heineken, an exciting addition to the MYM team.

Armed with degrees in Communication/Theater for the Young and Early Childhood Care, she earned honors at Washtenaw Community College (Phi Theta Kappa) and Eastern Michigan University (Summa Cum Laude). In earlier days, she also studied linguistics and ESL. She applied all of these disciplines to teaching toddlers, preschoolers, and middle schoolers, with an emphasis on sensory exploration and the creative arts. Married to Rick, who is in the automotive industry, she celebrates her 23rd anniversary this month. Their daughter is a freshman in high school.

Jane facilitated the launching of the Managing Your Mind Newsletter, developed marketing materials, and attacked with zest some of the more tedious editing and referencing tasks related to the soon to be published book, Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction.

Since she began, she has helped Managing Your Mind to accomplish goals more rapidly than I could imagine. She’s competent, intelligent, honest, and a complete pleasure to work with. In fact, just having her on board has helped me reduce stress, increase productivity, and get more done.



Here are some of the highlights of February, 2007:

  • Coaching helped a college student. In ADDitude Magazine, December/January 2007, the Personal Journey of Brian Polk is described and highlights the usefulness of coaching by Geri. To read the article, go to the White Paper Section of our website.
  • Free teleseminar presented: “Time Management for Graduate Students,” Feb. 1, 2007.
  • Tele seminar presented to the Coaching Training Institute Special Interest Group of ADD Coaches, “Tools to Help You Find Your Focus,” Jan. 23, 2007.
  • Seminar presented to the Word of Mouth Networking Organization: “Defeating the Demons of Distraction: Maximizing Your Potential,” Feb. 2, 2007.


Upcoming Events in March:

  • Markel will be on the radio. Geri will be interviewed again by Gregory Thomas of the Keep it Real Show on WDRJ about “How to Get and Keep Your Child in College.” Listen to 1440 AM on March 7, 2007 at 1 PM, EST.
  • Free teleseminar series: A nine-part, monthly series on “The Demons of Distraction.” Part 1 begins on Thurs., February 22, 2007, 8:00-8:45 PM EST, with “An Overview of the Demons of Distraction.” This session includes a thirty minute overview with ample time for questions and audience participation. Subsequently, each month's teleseminar will examine a Demon in detail, beginning with the Technology Demon in March, 2007. To sign up for any of these events, please write to:


Happy Valentine’s Day

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