How to Avoid Getting Sucked into YouTube Recommended Videos


Do you sometimes waste time on YouTube recommended videos that appear in the right panel of your screen?

I bet you do since the YouTube algorithm is programmed to make you watch as many videos as possible.

And if you’re working remotely like me, this is a big problem since your co-workers are not here to remind you that you should be working.

Let me help you find a solution to that problem.

A big source of distraction

I have to admit the recommended YouTube videos panel has been a major source of frustration for me.

In my story about my recent depression episode, I wrote that: “YouTube would take me for a ride from one catchy topic to the next, such as exploring the world with a unicycle or hunting down pythons in Cameroon”.

Time would fly and I would barely realize it. What a big source of distraction!

This might be fine if you are looking for entertainment, but not while working.

Stop the madness with a simple tool

I complained about this a couple of times with my accountability partner Then I realized it was a major problem I needed to tackle.

Fortunately, I found a handy solution. The trick is to install a simple extension in Chrome. It’s called DF Tube, which means “Distraction Free for Youtube”.

This simply hides the right panel of recommended videos. And it has been so liberating! It saved me countless of hours since I installed it.

What if you still want to occasionally watch recommended videos?

Now you ask: “But what about recommended videos that are authentically useful?”. Indeed, you might for example watch a tutorial for your work, and be interested in other tutorials on the same topic.

Well in that case you can easily “Deactivate” the extension:

However, I don’t usually do this. I prefer searching by myself on Google.

If I get used to deactivate the plugin, I might forget sometimes to activate it again. And given how forgetful I am, this is a big risk.

But the option is here.

Going further

Last but not least, you can hide/disable various other features of YouTube using this extension. For example, disabling Autoplay is a must in my opinion.

For that you need to click on the “Options” button. And here are the choices you get:

This is so handy, right?

I hope you enjoyed this focus hack. If you are like me, it can save your countless hours.

And if you want to refine and disable various parts of the Youtube interface, I recommend that you play with the options and find the ones that work best for you.

Featured image by Chase Clark on Unsplash

About the author 

Alex Philippe

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