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

Welcome to the July, 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.

Around the middle of each month, you will receive this practical newsletter providing tips, stories, resources, and announcements. Feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns, and suggestions. Previous issues are archived in our Newsletter Archive. Sample checklists and diagrams are archived there under The Geri Checklists.

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You'll find the following sections in this issue:



Goofs and Glitches

Several readers weren't laughing after last month's cell phone sagas - they were reliving the horror of their own losses! Lisa shares her story, which started when she jammed her cell phone into the pocket of her shorts. Struck by the call of nature, she rushed into a restaurant ladies room, began to use the facility, and gasped as she heard her cell phone drop into the toilet bowl. Despite a hasty and unpleasant retrieval, the cell phone was ruined. The purchase and arrival of a new phone cost her several days without service and over $200 in expenses. While her address book data was backed up, restoring it to the correct format on the new device cost more time. Carla, on the other hand, knew she'd be out of cell phone range on her hiking trip. The only device she brought with her was a fancy, clip-on pedometer. When she lost it in an outhouse along the trial, she made no attempt at a heroic rescue. That device had definitely reached the end of the road!

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


"It Worked For Me" - Tad's Story

Tad is a great salesman but recently he found himself spending too much time talking and too little time doing. Although his sales were increasing, his personal life was in disarray and the consequences were beginning to seep into his work day. He was always promising himself, "I'll get around to it..." but it wasn't happening. Sometimes Tad made a long to-do list but lost it; other times, he listed so many items that he became totally frustrated and stuffed the list in a drawer, briefcase, or under his car seat. Here are the five steps that Tad finally used to move from to-do to done:

  1. List tasks to-do under three headings: Urgent, Necessary, or Nice.
  2. Assign a time period or range of time that is required to complete each item.
  3. See if any chores, errands, or tasks can be consolidated.
  4. Start with those that are Urgent.
  5. Write in the times during which you will do those high priority tasks in your daily planner or PDA.

For Tad, transferring items from his to-do list to his schedule helped him be more realistic in his planning and allowed him to more easily monitor his behavior and make changes as necessary.

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


Strategies for Success:

In many fields, the pace or volume of the workload may become lighter during the summer months, so it becomes easier for employees to go on leave or to use vacation days. Often, people use this down time to take care of elective surgeries. If you or somebody you know is considering operations such as hip or knee replacements, hernia repair, or fixing bothersome bunions, keep in mind tips #84 and #85 from Geri's booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways To Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress. Don't let the Illness or Medication Demon fool you into thinking you're a superhero. Give yourself permission to rest and recover. Hospital stays are short. They foster the misconception that recuperative time is not critical or necessary for your full recovery. Schedule rest periods and naps, and regulate the number and length of visits in the hospital and at home after a procedure. One way to do this is by telling visitors or having a family member post a sign such as, "The doctor advises visits of about 30 minutes."


Parent (& Grandparent) Corner:

These days, parents and grandparents are often made to feel that summer vacation has to be one long Disneyland ride for kids. However, adults need to remember that summer - whether at home or on vacation - provides wonderful opportunities to reinforce previous learning and fill in learning gaps. Minus the pressure and structured requirements of the school year, caregivers can build learning experiences around children's interests and traditional summer fun. Some of the most old-fashioned activities (cooking, crafts, board games, woodworking, gardening, and household projects) build relevant academic skills such as mathematical calculation, reading and following directions, planning, organizing, and checking over one's work. Parents and grandparents should prepare for down times by purchasing inexpensive craft supplies, teaching materials, and games from discount stores. Dollar stores, for instance, are great sources for everything from books of puzzles and teasers to kid-friendly, inexpensive kitchen tools. Here are a few more ways to help students maintain or gain skill levels in the summer:

  • Vocabulary: crossword puzzles and word games such as Scrabble and Boggle
  • Math Concepts: card games, Sudoku, and strategy/logic games like chess or backgammon
  • Writing Skills: journals, short stories (may be accompanied by artwork or photography)
  • Listening Comprehension: listen and discuss a topic heard on the radio or on an audiobook on car trips or plane rides
  • Reading Comprehension: set intervals to read and discuss an article from the daily newspaper or a chapter in an exciting book
  • Literature: read, listen to, or watch a classic tale that may be covered in the next school year


Coach's Corner

For coaches, tutors, and teachers: blogging has developed into an interesting and easy way of sharing information and strategies. This month we'll highlight two blogs designed for AD/HD coaches. Both resources feature contributors who belong to AD/HD coaches' organizations. Geri has been contributing each Tuesday to the ADD Coaches Blog, A Blog by ADD Coaches for ADD Coaches and their Clients. She is focusing on how to manage distractions to maximize coaching activities. The ADHD Coaches Organization, ACO, sponsors another site,, which includes contributors from the field as well as ACO news, tips, and tools for coaches.


Featured Resources

Summer often means travel and unfortunately, there is always the possibility that you may fall ill, be injured, or experience problems far from home. Several travel publications advertise a product called MedicKey, which is a USB flashdrive device containing your medical records for use during an emergency. Not everyone may be comfortable with the $200 price tag or with the process of authorizing a third party to obtain and load medical information onto the device. Anyone, however, can invest in an inexpensive, portable USB flashdrive and create files on it that contain pertinent information. After consulting with your physician, you may want to list medications that you take, allergies or chronic conditions that affect your treatment, or contact information for the doctors who treat you at home. You might also consider including important travel information, such as hotel addresses and phone numbers, embassy or consulate contact information, airline contact numbers, and the customer service numbers to contact credit card and other accounts in case your possessions are lost or stolen. If you will be overseas, you will need phone numbers that can be accessed from your destination county. Just remember to list information in a way that still leaves you and your assets safe and secure - and of course, keep track of your flashdrive on the trip!



If you or anyone you know needs a great book about finding or changing a career, there is a great resource that is now available for immediate delivery: the Second Edition of Finding A Career That Works For You by Wilma Fellman, M.Ed., LPC. This updated workbook will assist those searching for a good career match in gathering all the necessary data about themselves to make better job choices. A special foreword by Richard Bolles (award-winning author of What Color Is Your Parachute?) makes this a great tool for graduating seniors, those struggling in a mismatched job, those re-entering the job market, or anyone looking to figure out their "next chapter of life!" Wilma specializes in careers especially for those with challenges such as ADD. She is the author of Finding A Career That Works For You, The Other Me: Poetic Thoughts on ADD, and contributing author of Understanding Women with AD/HD. She is a past president of the Michigan Career Development Association. Check out Finding a Career That Works for You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Career: Books: Wilma Fellman

Sneak Preview: NEW BOOK: Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress. (Prepublication Version-Download Only) This book is designed to arm workforce employees, independent professionals and family managers with simple yet powerful strategies to stop distraction from interfering with effective performance. Practical, step by step techniques help you rid your life of formidable enemies such as The Technology Demon, The Others Demon, The Activities Demon, The Unruly Mind Demon, and four others. Click here.

About the workbook for Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction:
A workbook to supplement the text is in preparation. Do you have a story or concern that you want addressed? Send me your survival tip, a question, or answer to any of the following questions: What are your worst Demons of Distraction? Under what conditions do these Demons attack you? How do you deal with them? What advice do you have for others? Contact

New product! Think Graduation Gift! Mem-Cards for Defeating the Demons of Distraction. This pack of 28 fast-reading, pocket -sized cards provides a personal coaching tool that can be used by individuals or in corporate training. Each deck contains the key ideas and important insights from Geri's booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways to Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress. In just minutes a day, you'll get everything you need to know to improve your life. Available at $9.95 each. For more information or to buy for your own use or as a gift, click here.

Defeating the Demons of Distraction Mem-Cards


Upcoming Events:

Save the noon spot on Wednesday, September 19, 2007, which is the Fourth Annual National AD/HD Awareness Day. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) promotes this important event, which seeks to inform the general public about hidden disabilities like ADD, ADHD, and related learning disabilities. In recognition of this cause, Geri will present a seminar entitled, "Defeating the Demons of Distraction." This presentation is sponsored by The University of Michigan Ann Arbor Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and several other student support services. It is free and open to the public. Campus location: Pond Rooms, Michigan Union. If you or a group with whom you are involved is interested in a presentation to promote National AD/HD Awareness Day, contact Geri.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences are a great opportunity to meet and get to know experts in the field who can answer your questions and address your issues. If you're interested in AD/HD, consider attending two conferences that will be held in the fall. Both conferences are small and offer opportunities for interaction with local and national experts.

  • Michael Golds Memorial AD/HD Conference at Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, MI, October 5, 2007. For more information, go to
    • At this conference, Geri will present the seminar, "Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Stress."
  • 5th Annual ADHD & Learning Disabilities Conference at The Great Wolf Lodge & Indoor Water Park, Traverse City, MI, October 13, 2007. For more information, click here or contact Terry Dickson, M.D. at
    • At this conference, Geri will present the seminar, "Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: An Arsenal of Tools & Strategies for Adults and Older Adolescents with AD/HD."


Enjoy your summer!

Feel free to forward this newsletter to someone else who might be interested.