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11 tips to stop getting distracted by YouTube while studying

You’re watching a tutorial on YouTube and your notifications show you a new video from your favorite channel. One video doesn’t hurt, does it? You watch this first video, see another video and it’s another one then stumble on cat videos.

The end.

Yeah, I know, Been there, done that.

Getting distracted by YouTube is a thing we all experience at some point. Learning how to curb these distractions will do your study life and person a lot of good. This is why, in this post, we’ll be looking at how to stop getting distracted by YouTube while studying or doing just about anything of importance.

I’ll be looking at 11 super tips for how to stop getting distracted by YouTube including apps to block YouTube while studying.

1: Have a goal

Driving out of the garage without a destination may lead to stopping at places you never planned. So have a goal for every study session. This should tie into your goals for the semester or a bigger goal.

Your goal can be as simple as “solve 10 math problems” and you’re good to go. This is your true North where you return to should you get distracted.

2. Recognize signs of distraction

If you pay close attention, you may notice your body gives off some signs before or during distractions. It can be something like shaking your legs, or your mind wandering. 

Once you notice any of these signs, take conscious steps to refocus your mind.

3. Don’t watch the first video

Want to stop an act? Don’t start it in the first place.

Do not watch that first video. Don’t overestimate your level of discipline to stop when you want. Your brain will trick you to watch one more, and more videos after that. 

Frame this tip and say it a thousand times till it becomes a mantra. 

4. Use Pomodoro Technique

The ever-popular Pomodoro technique is one of the best study tools you can have at your disposal. I used it for my second degree and it worked a charm. 

Use it for times of intense studio and take short breaks afterward. You can check out my deeper dive into how you can power your study using the Pomodoro technique.

5. Avoid watching YouTube during study breaks

Get creative with study breaks and don’t fall for the temptation of watching YouTube shorts (see tip 3 above). Those 30-second shorts add up fast.

Other study breaks alternatives can be some light banter with a friend or petting your dog. Or just take a walk around the house. 

Your body will thank you.

6. Put away your smartphone and PC

If you have hard copies of your study materials then put your phone and laptop away. You’ll return to them later but for now, you want to study.

7. Uninstall YouTube from your phone

You can also uninstall the YouTube app from your phone if your phone permits. Some android phones won’t allow this unless you gain root access.

But if you can do it without stress, then go for it. No YouTube app means zero notifications that tempt you to check the latest video from your favorite channel.

How to stop getting distracted by YouTube while using it for study

How do you study with YouTube sources without getting distracted?

You’ll need YouTube at some point to study or get fresh insights. I’ve added some tips to help you avoid distractions while using YouTube for study.

8. Download videos to watch offline

You can download YouTube videos to use offline on your device for up to 29 days. This feature may require you to get a YouTube Premium subscription.

There are however videos that can be downloaded and watched offline within the YouTube app. Get the videos you want, switch off your internet and focus on your study.

You can combine this with the Pomodoro technique to study for short 25-minute bursts.

9. Change location

I saw this tip on Quora and instantly loved it. It’s a bit different from other ideas I’ve used in the past.

Change the YouTube location at the top left of the screen (on a PC) to a country you don’t understand its language. This changes the video recommendations to videos from that region which may hinder you a bit from clicking on the next Mr. Beast video.

10. Use apps to reduce distraction

There are browser extensions that strip YouTube to the barebones so you have fewer videos and distractions. Use any of the following browser extensions to reduce YouTube distractions.

  1. DF Tube (Distraction Free for YouTube™)

With DF Tube, you can use options to hide many parts of YouTube such as the feed, notification bell, related videos, and sidebar. You can also disable autoplay and hide comments. 

DF Tube browser extension to reduce getting distracted by YouTube
DF Tube, browser extension interface
  1. Unhook – Remove YouTube Recommended Videos

Unhook performs similar actions offering the option to deactivate or disable parts of YouTube including the sidebar, feeds, and recommended videos that can become distractions.

Unhook, browser extension to reduce getting distracted by YouTube
Unhook, browser extension interface

11. Block YouTube

The last option is to just block YouTube. 

There are times when discipline requires you to abstain from certain pleasures to achieve a goal. If that grade means a lot, you may need to block off YouTube and other distractions.

You can do this using browser extensions like Block Site, StayFocusd, and Intention or through your WiFi Router. 

And one more piece of advice…

Don’t beat yourself up when you succumb to the pressure. You’re human, and mistakes happen. What is more important is how we respond to mistakes or devise ways to avoid a recurrence.

YouTube can be a force of distraction but there are ways we can tackle it. I have provided some tips in this post that I hope will benefit you as they did for me. Do you have any other tips to share? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.

Image credits – Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

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