If you write down tasks, you know it leads to a never-ending list of to-dos. You eventually become overwhelmed and leave whatever application you used to record it. We generally need to pay more attention to our actual work hours. We need to take food breaks, gym breaks and loo breaks, and the bug breaks like sickness and relationship issues take another major chink of our time.
What is a System?
A system is a sequence of workflows you need to perform a certain objective. For example, if you do a monthly newsletter. You need to break that newsletter into several sections. Each section will need a different workflow. For example - The section called News - Will need you to check Twitter and other feeds for relevant industry news. You will also need a place to store the relevant news or bookmark the same, so it is easy to retrieve them when compiling your newsletter. For the “ Reviews “ section, you will need to see all your written reviews and where you have stored them.
Two Essential components of a system
The system has a moving part called “Workflow” and a not moving part called “Storage”. A series of tools are used to accomplish the workflow. A writer might need some writing application where he can write. This writing application can be simplistic, providing you with a distraction-free interface to write or a complex one that can store your notes, links and other reference materials.
Digital apps accomplish the storage also, or you can keep them separate. I currently use Scrivener for long-form writing and Ulysses for shorter articles.
Advantage is systems
Once you have a system in place, it is easier to measure work. You can set a timer for each component of the systemic work. Every system either makes you better at your work or takes you closer to your goals and objectives. Tasks-based work will turn your life chaotic, and you will need to know where your work is leading you.