Sets, repetitions and time are a form of emotional comfort in exercise because they answer the question: "How much exercise should I do?"
Quantity of exercise does matter. The content of what you might in those sets, reps and time periods matters more.
What if sets, reps and time were simply a good place to start with exercise? Consciousness and adjustments to how you executed within those quantities then becomes the place where the magic of your focused physical effort is revealed.
(Ps. It's not really magic - you have already determined this, I know. But, it sure feels like it, and that is what keeps people consistent and progressive in their exercise efforts.)