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Posted on May 01, 2016



Last week found me in an MRI tube having a scan of my brain. I’d consulted with a neurologist to get to the bottom of my chronic headaches and the doc wrote a script for this awful test to rule out anything scary. I knew years ago that it would come to this some day, thus my reluctance to make that appointment with the headache specialist. How in the world would I be able to get through an MRI? I’m claustrophobic, have ADHD, and have anxiety attacks. No way.

The doctor handed me the script and I made the call, shaking inside, envisioning myself acting like a total fool, as I’d most certainly need to push the panic button so I could get the heck out of that clanking machine.

The following week came way too fast and there I was: in a metal tube. I’d been told that the open MRI is perfect for the anxious patient because you can see out. What they neglected to tell me is that with a brain MRI, you have to wear a special helmet-like apparatus that makes you look like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Wayne Gretzky. Which meant I couldn’t turn my head to see out. I felt like a caged tiger. A wise person warned me: close your eyes before they slide you in and do NOT open them until the test is done.

I did just that and for the next 45 minutes was tortured by the banging, clanking non-stop noise of the MRI machine. For someone as sensory-sensitive as me, this was no picnic.

It took every ounce of my creative ADD brain to come up with things to think about that would keep me calm and not reach for that panic button. After 30 minutes, the tech came out of nowhere with a 10 ft. long NEEDLE to insert dye into my veins. Oh my…..nothing in my brain could turn that scary image away.

Another 15 minutes in the tin can and…whew…I was done.

What in the world does this have to do with ADD?

I work with men and women from all over the world who consult with me for their ADD related problems. “I am a loser.” “Who could possible love me?” “I’m going to lose my job.” On and on it goes and my heart breaks a hundred times over when I hear the details of their stories.

But in my heart, I know that as we all face adversities, whether it’s a silly little medical test or the loss of a loved one, we all have an inner strength that gets us through some pretty awful times.

This weekend is Mother’s Day. Can you give yourself the gift of forgiveness for being so hard on yourself all these years? Can you reach into your memory and pull up examples of when your ol’ brave self came to the rescue and got you through a rough spell?

I would love to hear your stories. Please do share them in the comment section below.



De-clutter Your Car in 7 Steps

Posted on April 17, 2016

car cartoon


Spring Spring Spring!

A time to clean out closets, change out clothes, jump into yard work and so much more. Or not.

It can be sooo hard to jump into anything that is related to chores, clutter and organizing. Believe me, I know! But there’s one space in my life that I am practically OCD about keeping tidy and that is my car. I have no idea why, other than perhaps that space is all mine and small enough for me to manage. I keep it up better than any room in my house. Seeing it cluttered for some reason makes me anxious and irritable. Anybody else? Or is this just a “Terry” thing?

I know many of you have a tough time maintaining your cars, so hopefully this article will help you out.

How to De-Clutter Your Car

By Sue Brenner

Are things starting to pile up in your car? Do you have to push piles out of the way when someone hops in your car? Make room for you and your passengers. Use these 7 steps to make your de-cluttering easy and watch your car sparkle.
1. Decide what you want your car to look like.
What do you want the inside of your car to look like? What is the main purpose of the interior of your car? For example, perhaps you want everything that you need to be in arm’s reach. Or, maybe you want the interior of your car to be beautiful. Get a quick picture of what you want to create first.

2. Discover what’s needed.
What things do you need inside of your car? Examples include a First Aid kit, cup holder and insurance card. Make sure the things that you need are in your car. Place them in convenient places so that you can access them quickly when you need them. To help, ask yourself the question, “Where will I find this?”

3. Discover what’s not needed.
You just identified what you need in your car. Now begin to review the piles of things you don’t need in your car. Pamela found that she had four jackets in her car, her kids’ beach toys and used coffee cups. When she got to de-cluttering, she kept one jacket in the car and put the rest away. She discarded the coffee cups. Sand toys? She popped them in the trunk to make more leg room for her passengers.

4. Divide you car into zones.
Let’s say you have a 4-door car. Divide your clutter clearing efforts into 4 zones. These zones include the driver’s area, the passenger’s area, the space behind the driver and the space behind the passenger. Decide which areas are most important and address those first. Your trunk will come later, as usually that area is a job in itself.

5. Conquer each zone.
Begin to rid the clutter from each of the zones you identified in your car. For example, address the passenger’s area first. Then move through each of the other zones. By breaking down the process into mini-sections, it will be much more manageable. Use the following 3-Bag technique to breeze through each zone.

6. Use the 3-Bag Technique.
Grab 3 bags for your car de-cluttering task. The first one is for stuff that doesn’t belong in your car. In this bag, collect the mugs, books, supplies and other things that don’t belong there. The second bag is for things to give away/return. Perhaps you want to give away some of the extra clothes stashed in the back seat. In a regular organizing job, the third bag is for storage items. But for your car, use this bag for trash and recycling.

7. Clear out your trunk.
For some of you, this task may be the most daunting. If you’re driving to the airport, you’ll definitely need to clear out space to get your suitcases in! Set aside an extra 15 minutes to an hour for this task. Use the 3-Bag technique again to clear out your trunk. You may even find some storage items in there, like that computer monitor that has been sitting in its box for 6 months.

Use the above 7 steps to remove clutter from your car quickly and easily. Enjoy the ride with a clutter-free car.

What works for you? Share your ideas/tips in the Comment section, below.
Sue Brenner, Performance Coach and Author, wants you to get the most out of life and work. That’s why she wrote “The Naked Desk: Everything you need to strip away clutter, save time and get things done” – While you’re there, get her free eZine, “Ignite Your Life.”


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Don’t Know Where to Start? Ask Yourself this Magic Question

Posted on April 03, 2016



I finally got to the point of being totally fed up. I could no longer close the drawer in my bathroom- well- 3 drawers- that contains my makeup and family medications. The irony of this is that I rarely wear make up, so why do I have a drawer full of products dating back to the 90s?

The meds drawer was also overflowing with everything from expired cold syrups to ancient Band-Aids.

There’s this misconception (see my longer list in my previous newsletter HERE) that people with ADHD don’t care about the clutter we accrue in our homes, offices and cars. I would venture to say, from the hundreds of emails I get from people all over the world, that nothing could be further from the truth: we care SO much, that we are constantly criticizing and shaming ourselves and searching everywhere for answers to the problem. We cut out magazine articles, read books on organizing, join Facebook groups and more.

We are obsessed with organizing stores. As I walk down the aisles of such stores- the islands of hope- my heart begins to race and my mouth waters- not because of the candy aisle next to check out, but because I’ve found the Holy Grail of Home Organization. I scour the shelves for solutions to all of my clutter problems and start grabbing. More often than not, I lug home bags of Lucite and plastic containers, mesh desk organizers and other things that I just know will cure the part of my ADD brain that causes me to create piles and clutter. {smurk}

Yesterday, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond (for those of you unfamiliar, it’s a home goods store). I have yet to leave that story without dropping at least $50. But this time, I had a very specific mission. Ok, I always have a specific mission, but yesterday, something clicked. Because I was so sick of seeing the over-stuffed drawers in my bathroom, unable to even find Tums if I needed them, I decided enough was enough.

ADD adults often ask me: “How do I get started on a project? I get overwhelmed, anxious, angry and then shut down. I don’t even know how to prioritize.”

I followed my own advice on this home project. Stick with me for a minute and see if this works for you, too.

We have a tendency to look outside of ourselves at our clutter, piles and other things around us- and what we see mimics how our brain functions, which is: here, there and everywhere. Up, down, over, around, and then we shut down.

What I’ve learned is that by going inward, we can find the answer fairly quickly and easily by asking this one simple question:

What is bothering me the most RIGHT NOW? And if I could cross that “thing” off my to-do list, which project would make me feel a whole lot better? In other words, what around you is making you feel sick or angry? What is giving you a migraine? What is causing you to snap at people you love? Unfiled tax returns? A desk loaded up to the sky with paper? Your unbalanced checkbook? A closet full of out of season clothes?

Ask this question yourself now and I promise you, you will know what you need to do to make yourself feel better. And once you do, leave a message in the Comment section below so we can help hold each other accountable.

Now back to the medicine drawer!