Managing Your Mind
3975 Waldenwood • Ann Arbor, MI 48105 • tel/fax (734)761-6498 •
Geraldine A. Markel, Ph.D. •
Geri Markel
Managing Your Mind Newsletter
September 2009

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:



Upcoming Events

  • It's that time of year again: the University of Michigan's 2009 Event in recognition of National AD/HD Awareness Week is coming! Carol Persad, Ph.D. and Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D. will each address issues of AD/HD and executive functioning (the cognitive control system in the brain that is responsible for processes such as planning, rule acquisition, initiating appropriate actions, and inhibiting inappropriate actions). The event will take place on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 from Noon to 1:30 pm in the Rackham Graduate School Amphitheatre. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact Geri.
    • Dr. Persad is Assistant Professor and Clinical Director of the Neuropsychology Section in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health System. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. She then completed an internship at Henry Ford Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Michigan Neuropsychology Section, before becoming a faculty member of that program. Much of her research has focused on executive skills and their impact on daily functioning across the age range.
    • Dr. Lauer is the director of the Center for Neuropsychology, Learning and Development in Ann Arbor, MI. He is formally trained as a clinical neuropsychologist. In addition to being in private practice for over 20 years, he maintains an adjunct faculty appointment within the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Lauer's private practice is focused extensively on neuropsychological assessment and intervention of learning, attention and developmental disorders. He approaches his work from a strength-based model focusing on ‘islands of competence' in all individuals to improve self-esteem around learning.
  • As mentioned above, National AD/HD Awareness Week is September 14-20, 2009. ADDA (National Attention Deficit Disorder Association), CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), and ADDtude Magazine have joined forces to sponsor the 2009 theme: "First Years to Golden Years: AD/HD and Life's Relationships." While most think of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) as a condition only affecting children and primarily impacting school and learning, individuals and professionals active with ADDA know that AD/HD can persist throughout a person's lifetime and can affect every aspect of one's efforts to build and sustain relationships. CHADD is additionally focusing on the importance of early diagnosis of AD/HD; for more information, visit To find information and resources for addressing the relationship challenges that happen from childhood through adulthood for people with AD/HD, visit ADDA's website,, is currently being reconstructed and will be available in the near future.
  • "A Parent's Guide to School Advocacy: Helping Your Child with ADHD/LD to Succeed," will be sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for the Child and the Family on October 8, 2009 from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM at U of M East Hall, 530 Church St., Suite 1465. Kristin Chapman, M.A., will provide strategies to help families master the typical difficulties faced by children with these challenges. The event is free, as is parking in the U of M Church St. structure. For more information, call (734) 764-9466 or visit
  • Save the date for the 10th Annual Michael Golds Memorial AD/HD Conference: Friday, October 2, 2009 on the Orchard Ridge Campus of Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. This gathering of experts from around the world will include a keynote address by Michael Ginsberg, MD, on his AD/HD success story. The conference will also feature Sari Solden on women's issues, Roger Lauer, Ph.D. and Isabelle Beaulieau, Ph.D. on "Lifestyles of the Hectic and Frenzied," and Denslow Brown on LGBT issues.


Goofs and Glitches

Is distraction contagious? One busy woman who laments her own episodes of distraction recently went to place a last dirty mug in her dishwasher before the timed wash cycle began. Imagine her surprise when she saw a large flashlight in the middle of the bottom rack! Upon further investigation, it turned out that her husband had broken a dish while loading it, and needed the light to fish out all of the ceramic shards from the bottom of the unit. Impatient to get on with his day, he cleaned up the mess but forgot to retrieve the tool before shutting and latching the dishwasher door. She caught it just in time. Later, her daughter emailed that she had gone to an offsite business lunch. Caught up in the tense, recessionary work atmosphere, she forgot to turn off her keyless ignition vehicle—leaving it running for 2 hours. "Like mother, like daughter," was her comment!


Funny or inconvenient, let's share our experiences. If you have one to share, send it to


Strategies for Success

Robert Burns knew that "the best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men gang aft agley"—long before road construction, server crashes, airline delays, or overrun meetings could upset your schedule. As everyone's calendar starts to fill up in the headlong rush to winter holidays, you might want to consider Tip #37 from Geri's booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways To Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress: be realistic when scheduling yourself, your family, or colleagues. Leave at least 10 extra minutes for transitions between activities, for ex., for filing and organizing between meetings, or moving between locations—especially during rush hours.


Student/Parent Corner

As this new school year gets underway, MYM extends its congratulations to a hardworking student who has achieved extraordinary success in his area of strength: Eric Hasset (aka "Vapor"), who with his partner (Charles, aka "Fugger"), was invited to return to Taipei to compete in the 2009 World Overclocking Championship.  Eric and Charles competed last year and won the world freestyling title. According to Wickipedia, "Overclocking is the process of running a computer component at a higher clock rate (more clock cycles per second) than it was designed for or was specified by the manufacturer, usually practiced by enthusiasts seeking an increase in the performance of their computers."

Eric's mother says, "This year's final competition in Taipei included only six teams: two winners from the 2008 competition and four international teams who qualified based on regional competitions over the past year. In this year's finals, each team was given identical hardware and software configurations (e.g., Intel Corei7 CPU, Gigabyte's latest motherboard and graphics card, Intel solid state drive, etc.). The teams then super-cooled, modified, tweaked, tuned, and adjusted their hardware and microcode to get the fastest results against a set of computer performance benchmarks. After the day was done, Eric and Charles were victorious!" For more information about Eric's win, click here , here, and here .

Work/Life Corner

Geri passes along a recent email from a writer seeking adults with AD/HD to interview for an upcoming book about managing ADD in the workplace. Alison Soltau is co-authoring the book with Dr. Peter Jaksa of the ADD Centers of America in Chicago.

"People who are interested in telling their stories can start the process by emailing me, Alison Soltau, at or at, or via phone: 773.318.8154. Interviewees' privacy is respected with regards to names and identifying details in the book. "Working With ADHD" by Peter Jaksa, Ph.D. and Alison Soltau, is a collection of personal stories about adults with ADHD, and their challenges, struggles, and successes in coping with ADHD in their jobs and careers.  The authors are requesting personal stories from a wide variety of individuals in a variety of jobs and occupations. The goal is to always reflect the person's own voice and convey their work experiences, as genuinely and honestly as possible. This is not a book about theory or standard how-to advice – it's about real people and how ADHD affects their lives.

There are two ways to contribute a personal story:

Alison Soltau
Writing, Public Relations & Social Media Marketing
P: 773.318.8154
Twitter: alisonpeta


Featured Resources

AOL Health recently featured an interview with University of California, Berkeley pre-med student Blake Taylor, author of the new book , "AD/HD and Me: What I Learned Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table." Taylor decided to turn a private school application essay into a full-length book about harnessing the positive effects of his AD/HD while learning to manage its challenges. Still only 20 years old, Taylor praises the understanding and support provided by his parents and (most of) his teachers as he dealt with high levels of curiosity, impulsivity, disorganization, and social isolation. He cites a combination of medication, behavioral training, and coaching in social interaction for "creating a pathway" to focus on the work, activities, and relationships that are important to him. Young people dealing with AD/HD may appreciate learning about coping strategies from one of their own; they are sure to find Taylor's practical and highly positive attitude very inspiring.



  • Geri presented a seminar entitled "Graduate Student Survival Guide: How Advanced Reading and Study Skills Yield Greater Gain and Less Pain" to over 100 newly awarded Rackham Merit Fellowship recipients on July 1, 2009. The seminar stressed a systematic approach to management of the multiple academic and work/life responsibilities confronted by Ph.D. candidates. Practical strategies were demonstrated to help students complete course work, prepare for presentations, approach writing projects, and manage teaching or work duties.
  • Coaching is now only a computer screen away! Using Mac's iChat or Skype, you can have audio and/or video coaching sessions with simultaneous text-based instant messaging. Skype is a free, downloadable service that provides free calls, video calls, and instant messaging over the internet (; for information about iChat, search for your particular model. Moderately priced computer webcams and microphones are readily available. Both domestic and international clients are taking advantage of this convenient and effective way to improve productivity and reduce stress levels. To inquire, contact Geri, or tel. (734) 761-6498.
  • New book! Three experts provide their best college admissions advice in the latest publication from Managing Your Mind: College Admissions: From Chaos to Control by John Boshoven, M.A., M.S.W., Debbie E. Merion, M.S.W., and Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. Decide on the right schools for you, find your unique voice to write a compelling application essay, and score your best on high-stakes tests such as the ACT and SAT. John, Debbie, and Geri help families fit together the pieces of the college admissions process. Available from the authors, email for more information at,, or $12.95, digital download $10.00.
  • 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. Copies can be ordered from the publisher's website,, from, and from 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
  • Recognize and reward progress! Are you a speaker, consultant, coach, or business owner? If you need memorable and useful gifts or incentives for your clients, consider the products below. The tips and strategies to help people accomplish more in the New Year 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.
Defeating the Demons of Distracton Book Defeating the Demons of Distration Cards Defeating the Demons of Distraction Brochure


Reading: A Positive Distraction

Do you belong to a book club? Are your members having trouble finding the time to finish their monthly selections? What about a meeting to discuss the Demons of Distraction? For book clubs of ten or more members, Geri would be happy to present a session featuring her book, Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress. Learn how to reduce distraction and increase time for reading and other meaningful life activities. Visit to read summaries and reviews of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress: click here.

Getting lost in a good book can be a wonderful distraction. Even fifteen minutes of reading time, curled up in your den or a cozy cafe, can really be rejuvenating. Here are some favorites that Geri and her staff enjoyed recently:

  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The authors lure readers into this tale through the warm, enthusiastic voice of the main correspondent in a series of letters. Each response reveals more about a group of quirky, compelling characters who eventually join forces to tell the forgotten story of WWII as experienced by the inhabitants of Britain's Channel Islands.
  • Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber. A crime lab technician reluctantly becomes a CSI superstar as her personal life unravels and her mysterious past intrudes upon her latest case.


Even if you're not in school anymore, fall is a great time to turn over a new leaf!

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