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

Welcome to the May, 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 brief, but practical, newsletter providing announcements, tips, stories, and resources. The format may change based on your feedback and input. Feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns, and suggestions.

Previous issues are archived at, under "Newsletter Archive". Sample checklists and diagrams are archived there under "The Geri Checklists."

You'll find the following sections in this issue:



Goofs and Glitches

Judy, a creative and spontaneous first grade teacher, loves kids but hates record keeping. Unlike her husband--who can instantly tell her the amount of their August, 1988 heating bill--she has never been one to record check information in her register or reconcile the account each month.

When she receives her latest checkbook refills, the same light-green colored ones she's used for years, she automatically tucks a new bundle into her checkbook cover without looking at them and goes about her business, writing checks all over town as occasions arise.

About 6 months later, a conscientious grocery store cashier asks her for I.D. with her check. The clerk stops the transaction and says to Judy, "Look at your check. The name and address on the check is different from the one on your driver's license."

Shocked, Judy realizes that she has used half a book of someone else's checks! The bank had sent Judy her neighbor's checks by mistake. When she finally contacts the neighbor, Judy has no record of the dates, amounts or recipients of the checks. The neighbor is incredulous, as well as angry. "I had to waste time calling stores, closing accounts and worrying about my credit rating, and you don't even know how much you owe me?" Chagrined, Judy has to ask the neighbor to tally it all up. Judy has to pay her in cash, since she doesn't have any checks of her own.

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


"It Worked For Me"

Lue's Story:

Judy, above, needs to meet MYM Newsletter reader Lue, who was kind enough to send along the system she has developed over the years to take command of her checkbook. In her words: "A long time ago, I learned that a messy checkbook messes with my head and my ADD, so this system evolved. It keeps things looking ship-shape and in control! It gives me peace of mind." She suggests:

  • If visual clutter bothers, distracts or confuses you, make it a priority to keep your checkbook/register legible, organized, and systematic.
    • Leave an extra line or two blank after every entry so you can add details and corrections later.
    • Use color to help you organize and process information. For instance, deposits can always be entered in green pen; corrections can always be entered in red pen. Or, use different colored highlighters to mark debits vs. credits, etc.
    • Use white-out correction fluid if needed, but fill the register grids back in to keep rows and columns clear and "in place."

For an extended version of these and more tips from Lue, click here to print your own copy.

Thanks, Lue! 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:

With the opening of both the flower buds and the baseball season, you can expect that lots of special events may be coming your way. In addition to your regular responsibilities (which may already make you feel overwhelmed), the spring/summer season brings holiday celebrations, graduation parties, weddings, family reunions, and vacation trips, just to name a few.

You need to be ready when friends or family members ask you to participate in, plan, or even host these events. If you truly want to help them out, look to Tip #25 from my booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways To Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress. To optimize the time you devote to special projects, make a list of places, spaces, and conditions that contribute to your ability to focus. You may find that a particular library or coffee house provides the needed peace and quiet to complete invitation lists, choose menus, or make reservations.

If your life is too crazy to add responsibilities, however, you may want to consider Tip #23: practice saying polite phrases that mean "No." Those could include "I wish I could ______ (attend/help with/host) on that day but I can't. Let's make it another time." Practice helps you prepare to deal with the awkwardness of refusing requests.



Student Corner:

As college students reach their sophomore or junior year, it is crucial for them to examine the big picture in terms of their career goals. Some of them are already experiencing problems in their undergraduate coursework, and many worry about their ability to be accepted to graduate schools or professional training programs - or to succeed once accepted.

Commercial test preparation outfits can be prohibitively expensive and only focus on narrow, short term needs. These problems can be especially acute for students who are considered disadvantaged because of financial and/or cultural factors.

Several academic institutions are recognizing this dilemma and offering free or low-cost programs to maximize the potential of every ambitious student. One example is the University of Michigan School of Dentistry "Profiles for Success" Program, begun in 1994. The goal of this program is to increase the competitiveness of students applying to dental and medical schools throughout the country. Each summer, over 25 college juniors and seniors are prepared to take the high-stakes dental and medical school admissions tests before applying to their respective graduate programs.

There is a focus on advanced reading, learning, and test taking strategies--in addition to time management techniques--helps students accomplish the preparation they need to shine on the exams, applications, and challenges that follow. The students also explore careers and specialties in each field, obtain laboratory experience, receive exposure to clinical practices, and are mentored by faculty and graduate students.

As an instructor in the program, Geri assesses the students. reading and study skills, gives them ways to use their individual strengths on tests, and helps them identify and improve their areas of vulnerability. The results of this program have been outstanding.

Any college students with concerns about their level of preparation for a graduate or professional program are encouraged to contact local universities for information on these types of programs. If none are available, students may want to interview private counselors and coaches to learn what they can offer.


Parent Corner:

Recently there has been considerable media coverage of the impact of new technologies on children's physical and emotional health, social behavior, and academic performance. In this brave, new cyberworld, parents are learning to be vigilant about total hours of screen time, the danger of online sexual predators, and readily available online pornography. However, one area where many parents are being caught off-guard is the use of digital technology by some students to harass and bully others.

Often called "cyberbullying," this practice doesn't even require a computer these days: nearly every young person with a cell phone can spread nasty rumors by text message, or snap unflattering photos in a locker room and put them out on the Internet. Instant messaging, chatrooms, blogs and social networking sites like "Facebook" and "" can circulate hurtful or false information to peers with one click of the mouse.

Unlike former days when bullying was tolerated and kids were told to "toughen up," researchers now know that the electronic harassment can damage all areas of a child's development. An April 13, 2007 article on quotes Dr. Christopher Lucas, associate professor of psychology at New York University.s Child Study Center and director of its Early Childhood Service: "New ways of bullying - not always violent - are constantly developing, such as the name-calling and insulting that's happening now on social networking sites. ... [T]here are a lot of negative consequences for all kinds of bullying. It's one of the most common forms of stress among young people, and people who are bullied have more physical illness, more school absence, lower academic achievement, and are more likely to become bullies themselves over time. So yes, it's serious."

What can parents do to combat cyberbullying?

  • Become informed about all types of bullying. Visit websites such as:
  • Open a dialogue about cyberbullying with your child, with other parents, and with school officials. Suggest the topic of cyberbullying to your school's parent-teacher organization for future meetings, and invite local experts as guest presenters.


Featured Resources

It's allergy season, so many people are juggling their medication regime on top of their already busy schedules. The Reizen Vibrating Five Alarm Pill Box may be the answer to your needs. This pillbox helps you organize your daily pills and reminds you with audible and/or vibrating alarms up to five times a day. Price: $14.75. You can order this product from Terry Matlen's ADD Consults Store at



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.

A new product is now available! 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
  • A thank-you goes out to the members of The ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), who participated in their First Annual Conference held in Northbrook, IL, on May 4-6, 2007. The theme was Connections 2007: Business, Skills, Community. It was a great conference with the purpose of building a community of ADHD coaches to increase coaching and business skills. This small, intimate conference far exceeded everyone.s expectations and set a new standard for collegiality. Geri was privileged to present "Defeat the Demons of Distraction and Improve Your ADD Coaching Practice and Profits."


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, 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".


Happy Spring!

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