Welcome to the Managing Your Mind Newsletter, where you can find information and strategies to help you manage your mind and enhance your work, life, and/or school performance.
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
- Strategies for Success
- Work/Life Corner
- Student/Parent Corner
- Featured Resources
- Upcoming Conferences
- Reading - A Positive Distraction
Goofs and Glitches
What happens when you're tired and rushed? Remember the old saying that haste makes waste? You can make errors doing even the simplest, everyday tasks. There is nothing like a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee in the morning, but in order to get one, you have to load the chambers and filters into the pot properly... We call this photo, "Coffee to Go - Everywhere!"
Funny or inconvenient, let's share our experiences. If you have one to share, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategies for Success:
The season of spring cleaning is upon us. Freshening up your home and getting rid of clutter leaves you ready to fully enjoy the benefits of warm weather. But don't forget your computer: that hard drive may be getting pretty cluttered, as well. Plan at least two half hour sessions to accomplish the following:
- Review your documents and delete unnecessary ones. Organize the remaining documents into subject folders. Make sure that each folder and file is named in a way that helps you find what you need. This is especially true for attachments downloaded from emails: they may have been stored in default files or inappropriate folders. Again, rename them to add more useful descriptors and move them to the proper folders.
- Go beyond deleting nuisance messages from your email account. Take the time to unsubscribe to regular publications, notifications, listserves, or advertisements that you no longer wish to receive. Update your spam filter if needed, for instance, by adding keywords from annoying spam messages so they can be blocked. You can even stop unwanted snail-mail catalogs by going online to www.catalogchoice.org.
- Don't forget to back up important files, including your photos. Copy to an external hard drive or USB memory stick.
Seasonal change and transitions demand extra time. Although it is still spring, you should be planning ahead for upcoming events such as family vacation/reunions, summer camps, and departures for college. You need to schedule specific strategy sessions with your family, which means:
- Set aside times when people are alert and open to conversation. Trying to plan a positive event under negative circumstances leads to irritation and aggravation rather than excitement and anticipation.
- Establish timetables with those involved in the planning: for example, the information-gathering stage will last for so many days, and then reservations must be made by a certain date.
- Beware of being attacked by the Technology and Fatigue Demons while you are planning. For example, if you stay up too late making airline or hotel reservations on the Internet, print out and double check the times and dates you've reserved. You don't want to pay an extra charge because you mistakenly reserved a 5 am flight rather than a 5 pm flight, or typed in the wrong month on a reservation form.
- Use the power of networking to enhance your planning. Schedule times to contact people you know about possible summer opportunities. Get recommendations on summer camp experiences from a wide range of families. When teens are searching for summer jobs, have everyone in the family spread the word to friends, co-workers, and community members. Most adolescents find their summer employment through social networks, not through classified ads.
- Look beyond the whirlwind of high school graduation time. Before your child leaves home to start college, you should arrange medical and dental checkups, and review his or her health insurance status while away at school. Don't forget financial arrangements such as on-campus checking accounts or debit cards. Plan time with your student to evaluate their room and possessions: which items should be stored, donated, thrown away, or sent to college? This is an ideal time to clear the clutter!
Numerous articles attest to the fact that colleges are rejecting more qualified applicants than ever before - especially institutions that are well-known and considered prestigious. Even schools that were previously considered less competitive are reporting higher rejection rates. Peter Schworm of The Boston Globe notes that, "A demographic bulge in the number of high school students, combined with a sharp rise in the number of colleges they apply to, has created a numbers crunch." (original article) If you know a student who has been disappointed this spring, here are a few tips to help ease the pain:
- Don't take the rejection personally! Statistically, even the most qualified candidates are competing for fewer and fewer spaces. For a good perspective on the rejection process, see this article on the College Confidential website. As counselor and consultant John Boshoven (see below) says, "With many kids, it's the college's loss."
- Deal with your disappointment, but don't become paralyzed or panicked. While you don't want to make a hasty college decision on the rebound, you do need to consider other choices in a timely manner. Be flexible; focus on the schools that did accept you. Revisit these campuses, or explore other schools that offer rolling admissions.
- Reject the now-or-never attitude: where you begin your degree is not as important as where you finish your degree. If you show initial success at another university, your dream destination may accept you later as a transfer student. Many students end up transferring to a different institution in any case because they develop a clearer idea of what their major should be.
- Use this experience to learn valuable information for future opportunities such as applying to graduate programs: contact and revisit school counselors, independent advisors, and admissions officers to review the ways in which your applications could have been stronger. Find out from them the additional things can be done to maximize your chances if you are on a waiting list or you plan to apply to transfer to that institution at a later time.
- Realize that rejection is a part of life, and that you can choose to frame it in a more positive way. Everyone has to re-evaluate their expectations over time and decide if they are realistic. Use this opportunity to open a dialogue with your family, friends, and mentors about the ways they handled different kinds of rejection - or could have handled them better. Your support system is very important.
If tackling the college admissions process sounds overwhelming, you may want to consider hiring a private counselor to guide you. For example, John B. Boshoven, M.A., M.S.W., L.P.C. is Counselor for Continuing Education at Community High School/Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Founding Director of College Counseling at the Frankel Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield. Through his school affiliations and in his private college counseling practice, he has helped hundreds of students and families deal more effectively with the college selection, application and financial aid process. He is a Director for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), representing over 20,000 secondary school college counselors and college admissions professionals. He has served as President of the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) and Past President of the Washtenaw Counseling Association. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
- Geri has been awarded the credential of Senior ADHD Coach from the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). The mission of the IAAC is to advance the field of AD/HD coaching through the development and delivery of credentialing and certification worldwide, in pursuit of excellence in the profession. Read more about IAAC standards here.
- Geri was recently interviewed by Jim Allen, the Big Idea Coach, www.coachjim.com. The interview will be available on the MYM web site by mid June.
- It was standing room only at the University of Michigan back on September 19, 2007, when Geri presented "Defeating the Demons of Distraction" in recognition of National AD/HD Awareness Day! This program is now available to everyone in either audio or video form. In it, Geri describes distraction as a primary characteristic of adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. She discusses the 8 common demons and strategies to increase task completion, speed, and accuracy. Available as CD or DVD for $12.95 (+S/H) from the Managing Your Mind website.
- Attention! The second edition of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress has now been published by iUniverse. New price, $15.95! Copies can be ordered from the publisher's website, www.iuniverse.com, from www.Amazon.com, and from www.managingyourmind.com. Books can be special-ordered at Borders and Barnes & Noble, and are on the shelf in Ann Arbor at Nicola's Books. Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction can be purchased in e-book format from iUniverse or as a download through www.managingyourmind.com.
- Shake off the winter cobwebs and join all of nature in renewing and improving your life! The tips and strategies to help you stay on track are available in several handy formats: paperback, pocket-sized deck of cards, and 16-page concise booklet. Check out all of the "Defeating the Demons of Distraction" products.
- Join one of the most comprehensive gatherings of experts in the field for four days of education on every aspect of AD/HD research and management! The ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) 13th National Conference takes place in Minneapolis, MN on July 10-13, 2008. This year's theme is "Adult AD/HD: People, Purpose & Passion - Pathways for Success." Keynote speakers will be Sari Solden, Ned Hallowell, and John Ratey. For more information, visit the conference website
Reading: A Positive Distraction
Getting lost in a good book can be a wonderful distraction. Even fifteen minutes of reading time, curled up in your den or outside in the sunshine, can really be rejuvenating. Here are some favorites that Geri enjoyed recently:
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- World Without End by Ken Follett
Have you read something lately that really recharged your batteries? Share it with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to forward this newsletter to someone else who might be interested.