I gotta be transparent and forthright here, folks. I still get twitchy every time I have my laptop open and working on this blog. I have the urge to check e-mail just to “clean it up” and “knock some stuff out” before I get to the office.

I write in the mornings, really early about 5:00. I’m not going to lie. I want to sneak in there because I know there’s easy work that could be done. I’ve resisted so far but again, to be completely honest, I’m ready for those temptations to stop. It’s not very easy but here’s what I tell myself: This time in the morning? It’s mine.

I have to get up in the face of my email and snarl, “Back off! This is my time, not yours. I will not let you run my day. I will not succumb to the schedule you want to put me on and I will not start my day in a reactive mode.” To be honest, it gets me a little fired up, even a little emotional which as a guy I hardly understand at all.

Maybe it’s the many, many years of living an outer-facing life where I relied on the needs and demands of others that gets to me so much. Perhaps it’s some sense of duty that tugs me toward accomplishing the task that someone else sets before me. I imagine it’s probably those as well as others. I’m beating it back but it’s a fight and one I intend to win because the victories are so empowering.

Sure there’s that gnawing, nagging thing that says I’m missing something I should be taking care of at work. That won’t go away for a while, I know. My hope is though that over time I will prove to myself and my psyche that the work can be done during work hours and it will get done during work hours. And if it doesn’t all get done during work hours (which it never does) that it’s okay. The world won’t implode, I won’t be fired and I’ll be happier because I claimed a life outside of work, for myself. Here’s to hoping you do the same.

What time and space during your day do you need to claim as your own? What does protecting it look like for you? I’d like to know and honestly it would give me encouragement to get through this.