The work matters more than the system…

Effective Faith
3 min readNov 23, 2023

That, my friend, is a very simple point. The work matters more than the system.

Today, I closed ToDoist, shut down my calendar and I abandoned my plan for the day. I took out a notebook and a pen and a made a list and I worked from that…today.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Systems are good — use a system

Having a system to organise your work, to organise all your responsibilities, commitments, goals and hope to do’s is an essential part of being effective.

  • Capturing everything is needed — how else will you know what needs doing?
  • Organising everything is the only to be able to find what you need quickly whenever you need it.
  • Planning your time…if you don’t do this, then you will never understand what you are supposed to be doing at any given point.
  • Executing…well this can only really happen in an effective way if you follow that plan with your organised list of captured tasks and commitments.

Having a system is good. Having a system is essential to productivity.

But….the work itself matters more.

There will always be days where you need to close down the system and ignore it. There will always be days where, for whatever reason, you are better off abandoning it for the sake of the work. Today, I realised I needed to work on something a bit different to what I had planned. Now, often when this is the case i will take 10–15 minutes re-plan my day. This is often a good use of time.

Today, I did not need to replan my day to know how to use it. I wrote a list in my notebook and that became my plan.

Today, it would have been a waste of valuable time to replan. It would waste mental energy to make decisions about all the tasks I was no longer going to do.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

The point is that today, maintaining the system had to fall by the wayside in order to do the work.

Two extremes to avoid



Effective Faith

How to live effectively as a Christian in the 21st Century