On an episode of “Lockdown” a prison warden spoke with a member of jailhouse gang. The problem being addressed was that there was a steady stream of contraband coming in and the guards couldn’t figure out how to stop it. Speaking candidly the prisoner stated that they had 24 hours a day to figure out how to get things in while the guards only had 8-hour shifts to figure out how to stop it.

The prisoner brought up a good point. When all other resources are limited, time is incredibly valuable. Time and effort are as valuable, if not mores, than money. Ask anyone who has bootstrapped a startup. What money can buy, time and effort can build. Since time is so valuable, it should be not be wasted. Here are some tips for reclaiming wasted time:

  • Track your time: if you know where you’re spending your time you can decide if its wasted or not. How long do spend surfing the web, reading posts on Facebook, or playing games on your phone? A little is relaxing. Too much is wast]ing time. There is no hard and fast rule as to where the line between the two is, you have to decide that for yourself.
  • Don’t multitask: Studies have shown that tasks get done faster and better when you focus on one at a time.
  • Turn off your phone: Sometimes to focus you need to eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone and disable email notifications. You can return them when you’re ready.