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Start: Mark Evans

Make your time make economic sense Add to ...

Last week, I bought a new desktop computer. While getting an iMac was great, the best part was that I didn't have to visit the store.

Instead, everything with Carbon Computing was done via e-mail, and the computer was delivered to my office.

I loved not only the convenience but, just as important, the amount of time I saved during the entire process.

With a busy personal and professional life, my need to save time has taken on more significance.

As a result, it has become a personal mandate to find ways to become more efficient with my time.

My ultimate goal is to be focused on bigger priorities, and then figure out ways to deal in a productive way with all of the other things.

Small-business people have only so many hours in the day, which means they don't have enough time to do it all. Some things need to be handled personally, but others can be done quicker, and better, by someone else.

How do you make that calculation?

One key consideration in deciding what you should do, and what you should leave others to do for you, is to figure out the cost of different tasks. That will help you determine what makes the most economic sense.

For example, let's assume your time is worth $50 an hour. On the assumption that you can keep yourself busy earning that rate, it makes economic sense to get other people to do the work that is worth less.

That should be a straightforward proposition. But for many entrepreneurs, it's a difficult lesson: They have a tendency to want to try to do it all, figuring that's the way to keep the most money in their own hand.

They also have trouble establishing business priorities, which should mean spending their time focused on the higher-paying jobs and being pragmatic about passing up or passing along the lower-paying ones.

In the end, it comes down to time-management and economic prioritization. Do the math, and figure out where you can offer the most value and make the most money. Let others handle the lesser-value jobs.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mark Evans is a principal with ME Consulting , a content and social media strategic and tactical consultancy that creates and delivers 'stories' for companies looking to capture the attention of customers, bloggers, the media, business partners, employees and investors. Mark has worked with three start-ups - Blanketware, b5Media and PlanetEye - so he understands how they operate and what they need to do to be successful. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshUniversity and meshmarketing conferences.

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