The major factor that contributes to the illusion of time going by faster in jail or prison is establishing a good program for yourself. Whether you will be incarcerated for a long time or short, there are a few things you can do to make the time more manageable as you move closer to your release.
Set a program for yourself in compliance with the regular daily program and schedule that the jail or prison has for inmates. Think about all the things you are able to do in the facility you are housed in. Keep in mind, jails or prisons differ in the activities and privileges that they offer to inmates.
Establish a routine. Jail or prison is what you make it. Don't sit around complaining about how much jail or prison sucks; stay busy and adapt to the environment. Try to keep your mind present and don't think about anything that is going on beyond the prison walls unless you are writing a letter.
Read a book. Think about gaining more knowledge by reading books or entertain yourself with a magazine. Have your outside contacts send you a book on a subject or career you are interested in so you can make use of your time wisely. You can have magazine subscriptions in some jail or prison facilities also.
Participate in work programs and schooling. You can get your high school GED in almost every county jail or state prison across the nation. Some jails and prisons even have courses that provide training in certain career fields that allows you to get certified to prepare you for your release so you can find a job. Most jails and prisons also have mandatory jobs for inmates. Some jobs might require you to work all day or only for an hour or two.
Go to the recreational yard to get some fresh air. Spending time on the yard will help break the monotony of being confined indoors all day long.
Find time in your day for a workout program. You can do push-ups, sit-ups and squats indoors and you can do pull-ups and dips on the exercise bars out in the yard. Most facilities have a track for you to walk or run. Working out will reduce stress and give your body the proper physical conditioning to survive behind bars.
Participate in a friendly game or cards, chess or dominoes. Playing a game allows you to get to know other inmates, and the interaction with others will help you keep your mind off of whatever is going on beyond the prison gates.
Draw pictures. Jail time is an opportunity for you to sharpen your drawing skills. If you don't know how, it's the perfect time to learn.
Write to your family and friends. Receiving letters and writing letters to send out is a temporary escape from prison life. Some inmates find it much easier to cope with their jail time by finding a pen pal.
The key is establishing a daily routine that will benefit you mentally and physically.