Criminally Productive: Tips and Tricks Learned Behind Bars


Two months ago, a debate team of three inmates with violent criminal records defeated a prestigious three-time national champion team from Harvard University.

Even more astounding – they prepared without access to the internet.

Necessity, it’s said, is the mother of all invention. Nowhere does this rule ring truer than in prison. When you’re locked up and denied basic comforts normally taken for granted, you have to come up with some creative life hacks for when resources are limited. For one thing, many prisoners develop remarkable mental strength.

So, what can we learn from prison inmates that will make us productive in life? Andrew Medal, a former prison in-mate turned startup founder, shares his five prison productivity takeaways – learned, in his case, the hard way – from rising earlier to bootstrapping effectively.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to put any actual time behind bars to learn prison’s harsh lessons (if your bravura’s telling you it’s probably not that bad, just read this former prisoner’s tale on Reddit). Nonetheless, those hard won lessons can lead to extreme productivity. Why not take a moment to see how you might co-opt and apply incorporate their hacks into your life?

For more, check out Knote’s recent pieces on similar life hacks learned from life in the military.

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