Some people are just disciplined, and others aren’t, right? Not exactly. Most people you think of as disciplined aren’t naturally that way. They—like everyone—would tend to default back to the most comfort- able state if allowed to do so. The reason that they don’t is that they have
practices that prevent them from doing so.
Several years ago, I decided I was going to write every day. It’s not
always easy, and often the results are not up to my standard, but that matters little. What matters is that I engage in the discipline every day, because over time the quality of the work will take care of itself if I simply choose to practice my craft each day.
That’s how discipline with creative work functions. If you establish a set of activities that you do every single day, it will begin to feel odd when you don’t do them. Maybe it’s a certain word count that you want to hit with your writing, a conversation that you have with your manager every day, or an expectation about how you close open loops with your teammates. Regardless of what the practice is, doing it consistently will become the expectation for you. And over time, others will begin to think you are one of those magically disciplined people.
Your practices provide the infrastructure for creative discipline.
What activity do you need to engage in every single day, no matter what?