des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

How to Identify Your High Touch Tasks & What You Can Automate


We talk a lot about automating tasks. You know, those items that don’t require active brain power or a line on your personal to-do list everyday! Identifying the tasks that a tool can do for you instead of the high touch tasks that only you can do is the name of the efficiency game. So how do you identify what those tasks are?

How to Identify High Touch Tasks

Before you can identify who or what needs to actually perform your tasks, you need to know what they are. Start by making a master list of everything that has to happen to run your business and serve your clients well. This will be the basis for your workflows, too!

If you’ve already started building your workflows, then you will be able to more easily identify where you can gain efficiencies. Before we even classify automate vs. high touch, I encourage you to consider what you can eliminate all together. Once you do that, you can highlight the tasks that require human interaction.

There are two considerations to high-touch tasks, as well:

  • First, which are tasks you personally need to handle? As creatives and business owners, there are absolutely certain things that only you can do. You are the heartbeat of your work, the main driver, most likely.
  • The second part is that there are some tasks that do require humans to do them, but that person doesn’t necessarily have to be you. Enter outsourcing and/or building a team.

So let’s start with identifying what those high-touch tasks are, then we can sort through who that person will be.

These could be things like design, client interaction, creating your welcome packets and gifts, the actual labor, etc. However, there are things that need to be done that could very easily be part of an automated, software enhanced list. These things could be taking credit card payments, invoicing, payment reminders, scheduled posts going live, etc.

Let’s take your social media and blog scheduling as an example. You, as the voice of your brand, need to likely be the one driving the ideas and content behind your posts. However, do you need to be the one selecting or creating the images, scheduling them out to post, updating the SEO and all the other things that go into that? Not necessarily.

In that scenario, you need to write the content. Period. Then, you could have another person help you format, update SEO, create images, and schedule it. Then, the automated pieces are the execution of the scheduling via an app like CoSchedule, Planoly, Later, Tailwind, etc.

Just like using workflows, process and a system in harmony make things work best, finding that sweet spot between you, a team or virtual assistant and tools to automate is where you’ll find freedom and more time in your days!


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