I realised something this week that was really weird. I had quit watching youtube videos and I did not even realise it.
I grew up watching youtube videos. I used to watch countless hours of minecraft and other gaming videos on my iPad. Living a life like StampyLongNose or DanTheDiamondMinecart was the dream.
Here was my youtube consumption progression
Minecraft (2014s) -> Gaming (2016s) -> Pranks (2017s) -> Vlogs (2017s) -> Tech (2017-2019) -> StudyTube (2017-2020)-> Productivity (2019-2020)
Once I discovered the world of productivity last year, I went all in. I decided to listen to podcasts instead of watching vlogs on youtube. I decided to read books instead of looking at memes on reddit or playing games.
I learnt about the value of diversifying your identity. I learnt about how to control your thoughts using stoicism and think rationally. I learnt the value of putting yourself out there on the internet.
And although I was still watching youtube videos all the time, only this time I was watching productivtiy videos all the time instead of prank or gaming videos.
However, today I no longer watch youtube at all. Sadly, I do not even watch my favourite youtuber Ali Abdaal’s videos, unless they are his Deep Dive interviews.
So here are some steps that I took to quit watching youtube videos.
⚡️ Add Friction
Friction can be useful to make sure that we think twice before doing something. Instead of having the youtube application on your home screen delete it and install the DF-Tube Chrome Extension to prevent yourself from being distracted by youtube’s recommended videos algorithm. You can also do this in safari and other browsers by using adblock as demonstrated in this youtube video by entrepreneur Cliff Weitzman.
When you add friction like this you can reduce the amount of time you spend on youtube since it is no longer at the top of your mind whenever you open your phone. You are also not bombarded by recommended videos whenever you watch youtube for productive motives.
🏸 Find Something to Do
Why are you spending time on youtube? It is most likely because you are bored or do not have the “motivation” to do anything. Firstly read this amazing article about “Motivation is a Myth” by Ali Abdaal. Then you need to find some hobbies to do. Here’s a list of 6 that you could start with little to no resources.
- Start a personal blog. (Wordpress.com if you are new to this and want a free site)
- Read Books (Here’s my GoodReads Account where you can find book recommendations)
- Exercise (Start with this simple but tiring 6 minute hit workout video on youtube)
- Listen to Podcasts (Start with the Tim Ferriss Show, Not Overthinking, BookWorm FM, Cortex, MacPowerUsers and Derek Siver’s Podcast)
- Learn Programming (Start by building your own website and host it on GitHub. You can learn basic HTML and CSS over at FreeCodeCamp.org)
- Listen to Audiobooks (Use Libby and your Local library)
That’s how i quit watching youtube videos. Seriously if you have more fun things to do in life, you can easily quit watching youtube.
If you cannot go full cold turkey, you start by introducing more productive and useful youtubers into your life. Instead of watching TikTok compilations you can watch productivity youtubers such as Ali Abdaal, UnJaded Jade, Ruby Granger, Thomas Frank, Matt D’Avella, Sharvenium, The StudyTube Project, Nathaniel Drew, Sara Dietschy and Joey Schweitzer. Slowly you unsubscribe from different channels until you are only left with the few that truely add value to your life.
That’s it. Do let me know if this post was helpful over at @sharvenium on twitter or [email protected]