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

Welcome to the October, 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

As every commuter knows, it's a challenge to keep the mind engaged and the irritation at bay when stuck in traffic on a daily basis. Evelyn decided to try using recorded books to make her time behind the wheel more enjoyable. Perhaps she shouldn't have picked such a compelling thriller, however. Deep into the plot twists and turns one afternoon, the flash of a light on her dashboard finally alerted her to the fact that she was nearly out of gas. Pulling into a service station in the nick of time, she reluctantly got out of her car and inserted her credit card into the pump. She placed the gas nozzle into her tank and flipped the toggle on the hose handle for automatic pumping. Climbing back into her car, she eagerly resumed listening to her book. The breathtaking climax of the plot approached. Hoping to get to conclusion of the story before reaching home, Evelyn vaguely registered the "clunk" signaling a full gas tank, restarted the engine - and pulled away from the pump. As she accelerated, there was suddenly a horrible noise from the back of her car, and a clanging in the roadway. It was only then that Evelyn realized that she had never removed the pump handle from her tank - and that the hose had just ripped from the pump. The humiliation of fishing the severed hose out of the street taught her that staying alert as a driver even applies when your vehicle is stopped!

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


"It Worked For Me" - Geri's Story

Geri's Story: Has the combination of distraction and technology ever gotten you into trouble? Most of us have been on the giving - or receiving - end of an "OOPS" or two, such as forgetting to add the attachment to an email. Misdirected emails can have more serious consequences, as in the recent case of an airline CEO who made the news for sending a less-than-customer-friendly email directly to the customers in question rather than to management only. Geri shares an instance where she agreed to provide a written testimonial for a certain company's online and print materials, thus promoting both parties to an extensive client list. Unfortunately, the company completely misspelled her name. Here's the creative way that the business owner addressed the error: the cake below was delivered to Geri's home, along with his sincere apologies!

Geri's Cake

If you commit an "OOPS," here are three tips to deal with the negative consequences:

  1. Take responsibility and admit you made an error. Say, "Sorry, there has been a mistake."
  2. Identify what went wrong and what needs to go right.
  3. Brainstorm possible corrective actions and select a direct, polite, and perhaps humorous way to rectify the problem.

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:

A friend recently complained about the difficulties of remembering to take her daily medication. Missing a dosage leaves her feeling less than her best, which fuels the cycle of forgetting the next dose. In more serious cases, failure to remember medications can have dangerous consequences. Even those people who take their dosages regularly can be caught by surprise when their supply runs out and they need to order refills. To maintain a consistent medication schedule, anyone can try this tip from page 148 of Geri's book, Finding Your Focus: Practical Strategies for the Everyday Challenges Facing Adults with ADD: pair taking your medication with another habit or routine (e.g., right after you brush your teeth or with your morning beverage). Geri's booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways To Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress, offers tips #97 and #98: fill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy chain so there is an on-going record of medications and dosages - keep the name, address, and phone number of your pharmacy in your print, phone, and email address books, near your phone, and in your wallet next to your insurance cards. For many more helpful tips on following a medication regime, check out both of these print sources, available here.


Student Corner

Geri was delighted to receive the following email from the parent of an elementary school student: "I looked at your website after reading my ADDitude Magazine. My 9 year old son Avery wants to change the way people view AD/HD: he wants to highlight the positives of having AD/HD. He wants to tell other children that it's OK to have AD/HD. They should not be ashamed because they are optimistic, creative, energetic, and bright individuals. So at the young age of 9, he took a summer course on how to develop a website. He designed silicon bracelets which say, "ADHD ROCKS" and he is donating all of the profits to AD/HD research and CHADD. Please visit his website,"

Geri salutes this example of a student practicing acceptance and self-advocacy, as well as showing leadership and creativity. Parents and all those who work with children should encourage them to find ways to meet their own needs and to contribute to society and help others. After all, learning how to help yourself along in the world is an important part of growing up.


Parent Corner:

Last month, Geri joined a panel of experts in presenting at the Ann Arbor District Library's "College Night." The venue was filled with over 80 high school students and their parents eager for information on choosing colleges/universities, writing an optimal application essay, and Geri's area of expertise, preparing for the ACT and SAT. As these students recognized, taking these high-stakes tests is really a family experience. Geri emphasized the need for parents to define their role in the process, and discussed appropriate roles that parents can take. Parents need to approach the test preparation process carefully in order to prevent additional stresses and strains to the already-touchy caregiver/adolescent relationship. For more information on how to help your child navigate this crucial this crucial step toward higher education and career, check out Peterson's Parent's Guide To The SAT And ACT by Linda Bizer, Ed.D. and Dr. Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., and the audio version, Parent's Guide to the SAT and ACT: Practical Advice to Help You and Your Teen by Linda Bizer, Ph.D. and Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., both available here.


Featured Resources

How would you like to pull a container of out of the refrigerator and know immediately how old the leftovers inside really are? How many days has it been since you took your monthly medication or gave your dog his heartworm pill? How long has it been since you changed that filter on your furnace? The DaysAgoTM Digital Day Counter starts ticking off the time as soon as you apply it to anything from baby food jars or bottles of formula to plants you've watered or fertilized. Featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, DaysAgoTM has won several home products awards for helping busy people keep track of various life responsibilities, as well as ensuring food and household safety. To read reviews, see usage ideas, and order, visit their website



A packed house of over 250 people spent their lunch hour at the Michigan Union on September 19, 2007, which was the 4th Annual ADDA National AD/HD Awareness Day. Geri gave a presentation on "Defeating the Demons of Distraction: Strategies for Students, Staff, and Faculty," sponsored by several University of Michigan departments, including The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. With the session open to both town and gown, it was clear that the problems of distraction are on the minds of people from every walk of life. Graduate students, parents of struggling students of all ages, employees concerned about spouses or other family members, public school personnel, and faculty members were all looking for techniques to combat the distractions that cause stress, performance errors, and reduced quality of life. Geri followed up on the overwhelming response by providing a teleseminar to address individual questions and concerns in more depth. Teleseminar participants were very interested in issues such as how to distinguish distraction as the result of poor habits from distractibility as a symptom of a condition that needs greater attention, and how to tell some one they know that they suspect a condition like ADD.


Geri’s NEW BOOK: Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress is now available! 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. In Ann Arbor, it's on the shelves of Nicola's Books in the Westgate Shopping Center; call (734) 662-0600 or visit for directions. The book can also be ordered from and Geri will also have copies on hand for purchase and signing at several upcoming events, see below.

New product! 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:

Enjoy an evening in the cozy atmosphere of Ann Arbor's premier independent bookseller, and get your first edition of Geri's new book, Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress, signed by the author! Nicola's Books, 2513 Jackson Road in the Westgate Shopping Center (easy access off I-94), is hosting a presentation and book signing on Wed., October 17, 2007 at 7 pm. If you live in--or will be visiting--southeastern Michigan, Geri would love to greet you! More information to come. Contact

Geri will be offering a free teleseminar on "Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction," sponsored by ADD Classes, Your Pathway to Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder, - For those with AD/HD, distraction is a major problem and can wreak havoc with work, family, and personal relationships. This seminar provides an arsenal of tools and techniques for this often devastating situation. The teleseminar takes place on Tues., October 23, 2007, 9pm-10pm. Visit the above website for call-in information.


Upcoming Conferences

  • 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 The Fleeting Beauty of Autumn!

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