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Quitting YouTube


TimeForChange

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I am not a gamer but I am addicted to youtube. I am going to try to keep this journal as a method of keeping myself accountable. I really want to improve my sleep and be productive with my time instead of watching youtube. Be

Below is a screenshot of my last week of Time watched on Youtube. I will use this as a method of tracking my success. For sleep my dream is to be asleep by 9 and be up at 4. I am a morning person and my whole day is better if I get a good start to my day before work. I'll also try to post when I get to bed and wake up on here as another indicator of my success. Last night I went to bed at 11:30 after watching hours of youtube in bed and woke up at 6:00 when I am supposed to start work at 6:00. 

Screenshot_20230906-065342_YouTube.thumb.jpg.43f778635c560c3872a0aa54d8e14c6f.jpg

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Today has been a bad day. My total time watched for the day has gone up to 9 minutes. I could not concentrate all day at work. I wasn't productive at all and just feel down about myself in general. I have just over 3 hours before I have to go to bed so I am going to try and clean and get organized for tomorrow. 

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I managed to go grocery shopping and clean my kitchen tonight. I also set up the stay free app on my phone and got it working so that it's tracking website usage and computer software usage across my phone and 2 computers. I created a group of apps and websites (youtube, dating apps, social media, porn etc) that I would like to cut out completely so I can use it as another bench mark for my success. The usage shown below is not accurate for the previous 14 days, that has just been tracking my app and not other platforms/websites. 

I had a very stressful day today and found that my addictions are very closely tied to my stress. 

Screenshot_20230906-205902_StayFree.jpg

Screenshot_20230906-205739_YouTube.jpg

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2 hours ago, james1 said:

I had a very stressful day today and found that my addictions are very closely tied to my stress. 

Hey, I’m here for the same reason as you. YouTube (and when I have no access to it, sometimes streaming or random surfing) is my problem. I turned to it most often to avoid thinking about and facing the next day. It’l was the easiest way to ignore my problems, putting them off for the next day. I always felt guilty though about all the other hobbies I could have been doing besides watching all kinds of nonsense.
 

I’ve been without YouTube for almost two weeks now and I can say I’m starting to learn again to do things I liked before. I’m still looking for the brain fog to continue lifting (part of this is fixing sleep).

Can I suggest something that has helped me? If you have an iPhone, I set up screen time and blocked anything I didn’t want to see. Then I had my wife set the password. I also did this on my PC with the Cold Turkey software. She has that password too. And finally, on the smart tv, YouTube is blocked. Guess who has that password? She does . 🙂

This is a very brute method but has stopped me from turning to it even when I am at my most vulnerable because I physical cannot. If you have a significant other, family member, or friend you trust, you might consider giving this a try. I think it’s helping me. You still have to get to the root of why you do this, but the block will give you space to think about it and start filling the time with new things.


Keep moving forward! I know it’s tough but always remember, you just have to get through one day at a time.

 

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Hi FDR. That guilt is one of the worst feelings while watching youtube. I will do the same thing when I have something important to do. I will tell myself I'll just take a quick break before I get started and then it just never gets started. Then I think I might have well gone for that run or done something social which I had previously told myself I didn't have time for because I had more important stuff to do.. 

5 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I’ve been without YouTube for almost two weeks now and I can say I’m starting to learn again to do things I liked before. I’m still looking for the brain fog to continue lifting (part of this is fixing sleep).

Congrats for being without it for 2 weeks. Have you found yourself finding any replacements for youtube during this time? I have found in the past I will listen to more music or podcast/audio books. I kind of want to cut out music/audobooks/posdcasts/news too. 

5 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I suggest something that has helped me? If you have an iPhone, I set up screen time and blocked anything I didn’t want to see. Then I had my wife set the password. I also did this on my PC with the Cold Turkey software. She has that password too. And finally, on the smart tv, YouTube is blocked. Guess who has that password? She does . 🙂

This is a very brute method but has stopped me from turning to it even when I am at my most vulnerable because I physical cannot. If you have a significant other, family member, or friend you trust, you might consider giving this a try. I think it’s helping me. You still have to get to the root of why you do this, but the block will give you space to think about it and start filling the time with new things.

I have attempted to use blockers in the past. I have actually tried to quit youtube or build good habbits (differs a little every time) many times before. It will usually go really well for 2-4 weeks and I will see very good results. This has been going on for maybe 10 years now on and off. I once went almost a year close to 10 years ago and picked up a good workout habit. But I find as life gets more stressful it's becoming harder. I am a single dad and work long hours when I don't have my daughter and am trying to make a career change at the same time which is hindered by my youtube habit. The problem I have found with blockers is I always find a way to get around them. Or I find an excuse for why I need to get around them, like my daughter wants to watch something or my parents when they visit. I don't really feel like I can ask anyone in my life right now to handle a password like that and don't want to get my parents involved. 

As for this morning I work up at 4am and have had a much better start to my day before work. Last night I had my lights out and was in bed at 9:30. It took me a long time to fall asleep though. This is a good start. 

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I’m glad to see you were able to get to sleep! Fixing sleep is so important. At the beginning of this year, I fixed mine with the help of a book my wife got me. I think it’s called The Sleep Journal. Then I fell off again because of a project at work which made me work late and then spiral into YouTube at night. If you can fix your sleep, you’ll start to feel better already.

1 hour ago, james1 said:

Congrats for being without it for 2 weeks. Have you found yourself finding any replacements for youtube during this time? I have found in the past I will listen to more music or podcast/audio books. I kind of want to cut out music/audobooks/posdcasts/news too. 

I’m working on getting back to habits and things I used to like. I loved reading in the past but I’m working on building the muscle back up. I have to actively manage that free time now. I do think I’m experiencing a reset period where I feel I need to be bored. Then, because I’m so bored, things I used to do start to become very attractive again. The motivation is genuine. You want to do it because it’s more exciting than doing nothing haha. 
 

I am struggling simultaneously though with too many background podcasts. I made a post in the FAQ a couple days ago asking people if they’ve ever found themselves addicted to listening to podcasts. I think I do it so that I don’t feel alone, but I don’t think it helps me think clearly because I’m not really focused on listening. So I’m with you on trying to kick this habit too.

 

1 hour ago, james1 said:

Or I find an excuse for why I need to get around them, like my daughter wants to watch something or my parents when they visit. I don't really feel like I can ask anyone in my life right now to handle a password like that and don't want to get my parents involved. 

Okay, a few other suggestions. I completely understand where you’re coming from with this. For Cold Turkey, you don’t have to use a password. One of the strongest alternatives is a hard block, where you set a time limit and lock the block. Once you’ve done this, it CANNOT be undone until the timer is up. So it could be 5 hours, or you could do 150 days. There is no limit. During a block, Cold Turkey cannot be uninstalled from your computer. The only way to get around it is you would have to email the developer and tell them you made some kind of mistake and need help fixing your block or something. It’s pretty hardcore. I think Cold Turkey is $20? You pay once and you can use it on as many devices as you want (except phones unfortunately). It really is life changing. I’m a huge advocate for it. You can permanently block porn, temporarily block distracting sites and even block certain types of searches!

 

If it’s a smart tv that you are worried about for your daughter/parents, get a kitchen timer container. I’ve used this before to success. If you are alone and you know your daughter won’t be home, put the remote in the kitchen jar, set the timer for overnight or until the next day your daughter comes over (I think the max is 10 days?). Then click the button. It will lock and the only way to open is to wait until the timer is up or literally break the plastic jar with a hammer. At that point you’ve gotta be real desperate. I think it helps a lot.

 

Let me know if these help or if you need other things to brainstorm how to give yourself space from YouTube. It’s amazing how one website requires various tactics to free yourself from it. We’re in this together!

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DAY # 2 (I am writing this from Day 3 and trying out a template)

Time I woke up: 4:00 AM

Time I went to sleep yesterday (6th): 9:30 PM (But took at least 1 hour to fall asleep)

Physical task:  I went for a 3km jog/walk. It felt good. I started running almost 7 weeks ago and in my first months did over 50km but the past couple weeks have only found time once a week. 

Mental task: None

Projects: Worked on my Trading Strategy

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Ran the dishwasher in the morning before work. Cleaned up the kitchen.

~ Went for a run

~ Had a productive day at work

~ Weeded some of my lawn

~ Didn't watch any youtube although the urges where pretty strong. 

Summary of Day #:

Today started off much better then yesterday. However I found myself reaching for my phone so much in the morning. I ended up putting it out of reach around 7:30AM. I also ended up putting a block on youtube because even though I haven't watched anything this morning, I found myself just reaching for my phone and opening it out of habit... I added a message of F*ck you! to the pop up that appears when the app alerts me that the app is blocked. I ended up having a pretty good day and found some free time after work to get in a jog before my daughter was dropped off. I ended up making my 4000 step goal for the day. 

Near the end of my 10 hour work day before I went for my run I was starting to have real focus and stress issues where I found my self constantly going to my phone and really had the urge to open up a video. This happened automatically a few times but luckily the simple block I put on it stopped me every time. The stay free app counted 28 attempts on my phone. 

Quote
23 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I do think I’m experiencing a reset period where I feel I need to be bored.

I feel like this is very important. Especially when constantly consuming content we never get this feeling. 

 

23 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I am struggling simultaneously though with too many background podcasts. I made a post in the FAQ a couple days ago asking people if they’ve ever found themselves addicted to listening to podcasts. I think I do it so that I don’t feel alone, but I don’t think it helps me think clearly because I’m not really focused on listening. So I’m with you on trying to kick this habit too.

Although I didn't focus on this yesterday I found I only listened to 2 episodes of the morning brew podcast but I almost constantly had music on while I was working and when I got up. Looking back I did this to not feel like I was alone in the house and avoid that quit/bored sensation mentioned above. I now have my daughter till Sunday (Sleeping now) and none of this is a real problem when I am with her. The real test every week will be Sunday evening after I drop her off and I am alone in the house again. 

 

23 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Okay, a few other suggestions. I completely understand where you’re coming from with this. For Cold Turkey, you don’t have to use a password. One of the strongest alternatives is a hard block, where you set a time limit and lock the block. Once you’ve done this, it CANNOT be undone until the timer is up. So it could be 5 hours, or you could do 150 days. There is no limit. During a block, Cold Turkey cannot be uninstalled from your computer. The only way to get around it is you would have to email the developer and tell them you made some kind of mistake and need help fixing your block or something. It’s pretty hardcore. I think Cold Turkey is $20? You pay once and you can use it on as many devices as you want (except phones unfortunately). It really is life changing. I’m a huge advocate for it. You can permanently block porn, temporarily block distracting sites and even block certain types of searches!

 

If it’s a smart tv that you are worried about for your daughter/parents, get a kitchen timer container. I’ve used this before to success. If you are alone and you know your daughter won’t be home, put the remote in the kitchen jar, set the timer for overnight or until the next day your daughter comes over (I think the max is 10 days?). Then click the button. It will lock and the only way to open is to wait until the timer is up or literally break the plastic jar with a hammer. At that point you’ve gotta be real desperate. I think it helps a lot.

These are really great ideas! I will keep cold turkey in mind and maybe download it this weekend just to have ready at my disposal. Maybe start with hard blocks 1 day at a time or start using it for Sundays when this is the hardest. But as a re-read that why wouldn't I just block for a week or a month at a time.. lol.  I really like the idea of the kitchen time container. I had never heard of that. I could think of a few things to put in there including some casting devices which cannot easily block youtube. 

 

23 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Let me know if these help or if you need other things to brainstorm how to give yourself space from YouTube. It’s amazing how one website requires various tactics to free yourself from it. We’re in this together!

It is quite amazing! Thanks for the support. 

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Glad to see you had a pretty good day yesterday. Sometimes when you write, I think, “Is this me?” Haha. We have such a similar struggle. 
 

I can link you to a timer if you like but if you Google “Kitchen Safe”, you should be able to find them (I don’t know what the rules for links are here). They are a bit pricy but worth it for items that have no way to block YouTube. I also used it in the past for a Kindle Fire which has YouTube access.

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23 minutes ago, james1 said:

Maybe start with hard blocks 1 day at a time or start using it for Sundays when this is the hardest. But as a re-read that why wouldn't I just block for a week or a month at a time.. lol.

Meant to write this above about the hard blocks in Cold Turkey. I totally understand your predicament and not wanting to block for a week. If you decide to do it for a day when you know you’ll be alone, try to do it earlier in the day. Your willpower may be low at night and you might not initiate the block like you planned (speaking from past experience).

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I don't have time for a big post at the movement but I just wanted to note I avoided youtube yesterday but I found it hard. I found myself at one point browsing news which almost led to a video but I didn't get past the add and closed that all down. I went to bed before 9PM yesterday but slept in till 6. I was so tired for some reason last night. 

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I really didn't want to write tonight. Sunday's are the toughest for me after I drop my daughter off at her moms. I had a great weekend where we visited family, went to a local social event and spent time with the neighbors. I am very grateful for all of it. However, the constant feeling of being on the go followed by the abrupt change of pace and mental shift when I arrive at home alone can be very difficult for me. I've known this but very rarely do I reflect on it or write it down. I usually drown everything out with whatever media I can get my hands on either starting in the car with a podcast/music or turning on the TV as soon as I get in the door and sometimes not even moving from that spot till I realize it's way to late and I have to get to work in the morning. For food I often won't eat or just finish whatever snacks I have left over in the house. Sometimes it's something more productive like coding a strategy or doing some back testing on my trading but it's used as an escape and isn't healthy when I just walk in the door, go to my computer and sit there hours past when I should have been asleep. 

Tonight I felt more prepared mentally but it was hard. I ended up sitting in my car in silence for 10-15 minutes before even going inside. I came up with a rough plan on what I needed to do and ended up doing it. Managed to clean up and get some chores done downstairs before moving upstairs.  I ended up having to take another 10 minute break in silence before finishing up most of my list and sitting down to write this. I had a lot of thoughts pop into my head that I hadn't thought about for a while when I was sitting there. 

As for YouTube today is day 5. Currently showing a 57% drop from last week. Doing a lot better then last Monday, that's for sure.

 Screenshot_20230910-205850_YouTube.thumb.jpg.de5b0a53c8a65b9f3e8e71ed27fc5c8d.jpg

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3 hours ago, james1 said:

Tonight I felt more prepared mentally but it was hard. I ended up sitting in my car in silence for 10-15 minutes before even going inside. I came up with a rough plan on what I needed to do and ended up doing it. Managed to clean up and get some chores done downstairs before moving upstairs.  I ended up having to take another 10 minute break in silence before finishing up most of my list and sitting down to write this. I had a lot of thoughts pop into my head that I hadn't thought about for a while when I was sitting there. 

I'm finding these moments of silence to be necessary, too. They give you some clarity in the moment and let you pause before just reacting like you would in the past. And it can be uncomfortable because for so long I've silenced many of the thoughts that arise during those intervals. I empathize completely with wanting to turn to TV or YouTube to soothe the stress of being on the go all day. Proud of you for what you did, and for writing today. Keep going!

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It has been 5 days since I posted last Sunday. I found the beginning of the week pretty difficult. I felt almost like I was developing a cold for a couple days and felt really tired even though I was going to bed earlier. I ended up taking a couple afternoon naps after work and going to bed at 8PM a couple nights because I couldn't focus on anything. Although I wish I had more energy and got some important tasks done instead I can consider this a win because in the past I would have turned to YouTube and not gotten the sleep I needed. It feels like I am starting to get over this feeling of fatigue but it's slow. 

I have been able to stay away from YouTube all week which is good but those first days of the week when I was really tired I found myself turning to podcasts a lot more then I have in the past. I would also turn to news or anything on my phone including swiping on dating apps to fill that void of not having YouTube when I was tired and stressed. Yesterday though, I cleaned up the apps on my phone and added more blocks to try and help with this habit and found myself looking around my phone and realizing there isn't much left and putting it away. 

Now that YouTube has been cut out for 9 days other things are starting to become my focus like sleep and general phone/computer usage. For my sleep I can see and improvement over the past 3 weeks in terms of getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier but it is taking some effort. I used to use a bright light on an alarm to get me out of bed and I think I will set that up tonight. In terms of general phone/computer usage I have also been making improvements I feel. One of the best things I have done with my computers is shut everything down at the end of the work day/evening to create a hard stop and kind of ritual where I tell myself I won't be looking at them until the next morning. I have felt a lot lighter without these distractions available at night. It's also helped me make sure I am more productive because I can't tell myself I will do it later tonight so I hope this can be a new habit I carry forward. 

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1 hour ago, james1 said:

I have been able to stay away from YouTube all week which is good but those first days of the week when I was really tired I found myself turning to podcasts a lot more then I have in the past. I would also turn to news or anything on my phone including swiping on dating apps to fill that void of not having YouTube when I was tired and stressed. Yesterday though, I cleaned up the apps on my phone and added more blocks to try and help with this habit and found myself looking around my phone and realizing there isn't much left and putting it away. 

I'm so glad things are getting better for you. Yeah, filling the void is something that can sneak up on you. The vacuum created likes to pull anything in, so it's good to fill it with things of your choosing. I find having a list of predetermined activities to choose from (and even better, scheduling one if I can) helps combat that.

I feel your struggle with bedtime. I think that is my biggest challenge right now.

What are you thinking of the blocks so far? It looks like they are helping you by stopping you long enough to think about it (and making your phone altogether uninteresting).

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/15/2023 at 7:14 AM, james1 said:

It has been 5 days since I posted last Sunday. I found the beginning of the week pretty difficult. I felt almost like I was developing a cold for a couple days and felt really tired even though I was going to bed earlier. I ended up taking a couple afternoon naps after work and going to bed at 8PM a couple nights because I couldn't focus on anything. Although I wish I had more energy and got some important tasks done instead I can consider this a win because in the past I would have turned to YouTube and not gotten the sleep I needed. It feels like I am starting to get over this feeling of fatigue but it's slow. 

I have been able to stay away from YouTube all week which is good but those first days of the week when I was really tired I found myself turning to podcasts a lot more then I have in the past. I would also turn to news or anything on my phone including swiping on dating apps to fill that void of not having YouTube when I was tired and stressed. Yesterday though, I cleaned up the apps on my phone and added more blocks to try and help with this habit and found myself looking around my phone and realizing there isn't much left and putting it away. 

Now that YouTube has been cut out for 9 days other things are starting to become my focus like sleep and general phone/computer usage. For my sleep I can see and improvement over the past 3 weeks in terms of getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier but it is taking some effort. I used to use a bright light on an alarm to get me out of bed and I think I will set that up tonight. In terms of general phone/computer usage I have also been making improvements I feel. One of the best things I have done with my computers is shut everything down at the end of the work day/evening to create a hard stop and kind of ritual where I tell myself I won't be looking at them until the next morning. I have felt a lot lighter without these distractions available at night. It's also helped me make sure I am more productive because I can't tell myself I will do it later tonight so I hope this can be a new habit I carry forward. 

Never seen anyone do this much youtube before it seriously is an issue. I can't say I have an issue with TV but I want to cut down. Like 1.5 hours daily max. How much do you watch tv?

I basically don't watch youtube. It's too addictive for me too. Though I've learned a lot of useful things there. The most useful I learned was to stay the eff away from youtube cause it'll suck me in and make me forget about all the more important things I want to do with my life 🙂 ❤️

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/2/2023 at 10:35 PM, TheNewMe2.0 said:

Never seen anyone do this much youtube before it seriously is an issue. I can't say I have an issue with TV but I want to cut down. Like 1.5 hours daily max. How much do you watch tv?

I basically don't watch youtube. It's too addictive for me too. Though I've learned a lot of useful things there. The most useful I learned was to stay the eff away from youtube cause it'll suck me in and make me forget about all the more important things I want to do with my life 🙂 ❤️

I don't really watch cable at all. I had it paused for a while but you are reminding me I need to fully cancel it now. I'm glad you have managed to stay away from youtube 🙂

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It's been 44 days since I posted. I can't remember exactly what happened but I ended up having a few extremely stressful days in a row leading to me making some bad decisions and the first thing I did to cope was watch youtube. From there the lack of sleep kicked in and opening up my journal to write was the last thing I wanted to do. 

On the flip side, I ended up paying for a Life Time Subscription to Freedom.to on October 7th and have playing around with blocks since then. It has been helping a ton getting me back on track and is much hard to bypass/modify. However there have been a few days it hasn't worked and required a phone reset to start working. One of those days however, I didn't reset my phone and watched youtube instead. Right now I have following items blocked from 5AM to 11:50PM every day. I also have a second schedule blocking Spotify and other non essential apps after 8:30PM because I would find myself looking at the weather network or listening to a podcast instead of sleeping etc. The great thing about Freedom is that it syncs on all of my devices. I only have my cable box to deal with but hope to cancel that and return the box soon. 

image.png.2f9fe968652e974d024e5e475590921e.png

Some other big news is that today is my second day ever taking medication for ADHD. Ever since I started to day trade, I have noticed so much about my psychology and it's led me to believe that I probably have had pretty bad ADHD most of my life. I talked with my Doctor about it a while ago but just like everything else I ended up putting it off until a couple weeks ago where I followed up and got a subscription. I also plan to start some sort of therapy and am waiting for a referral at the moment. I am not sure if yesterday was a placebo effect but my house is now more organized then it has been in a while and even though we had a lot to do I felt organized myself. 

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So glad you’re back and that things are starting to improve. The blockers are life savers. Freedom is great for the phone. If you find the PC to be a problem, I strongly recommend Cold Turkey. It can’t be uninstalled once you’ve initiated a block. Freedom won’t work right if your phone is on low battery or if you have the VPN off. Nice work on turning things around! 

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