1. You get what you pay for.
2. The currency is time.
If you spend two hours a night mindlessly watching TV, you have spent two hours. Your mind does need a rest, and distractions can be useful – but did you keep a pad and pen, or some other note-taking device, standing by to record any stray thoughts that could be useful later? Then you probably spent two hours.
3. Currency is better invested than spent.
A practice I learned from David Allen, author of the book Getting Things Done, during a recent interview: Write down every stray thought that occurs that is not related to the task at hand, while staying focused on the task at hand. Come back to that list later and create a plan of action for each thought. Rinse, repeat.
I have already found myself getting things done a little faster and remembering other things that need to be done. The practice may solve the time management mess that has plagued me all these years.
You get what you pay for: Either the time is spent on the activities that make and keep you whole, or it is not. Invest your currency wisely; it is a finite resource.