Cannot stop watching YouTube and going on Reddit

CPA Exam Forum Other CPA Exam Topics Study Tips, NTS Problems, and Candidate Issues Cannot stop watching YouTube and going on Reddit

This topic contains 40 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Missy 9 months, 1 week ago.

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    I just barely finished Section 2 Chapter 3 of FAR, every time I open the book i get bored and start youtube videos, yesterday i was supposed to finish the third section but all i did was watch stupid youtube videos and go on reddit till 11:30pm. I was supposed to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 4am to start studying. None of this happened. On top of that I have to look for a better position to fulfill this stupid work experience requirement, so far i have put in two applications. Can someone suggest what I can do to stop being so unproductive after work. This is my schedule.

    8 to 5 work
    5-630-ish get home..depending on how late i get off work
    6:30 to 8-ish walk the dogs and entertain them till they are satisfied, they can be very very demanding
    8 to 10 try to focus on job applications/studying

    i am single and have no kids. my semester starts next week and i am taking two accounting classes, one online and one in person.


    Wake up early (5am)
    Study at lunch
    Study at a coffee shop and hour after work
    Walk the dogs for 30 minutes.

    I just added 4 study hours to your day.

    Get the NINJA Audio for your commute … 30 min x 2 ways x 5 days = 5 hours/week.

    I just added 20 hours of study time with minimal adjustment.

    You also need some pressure. Schedule your exam 3.5 weeks from today – you'll get yourself in gear.


    Wake up early (5am) – i can do that, i will try tomorrow

    Study at lunch – i was going to go to the library by my office at lunch yesterday, instead i went to Popeyes and watched the Aaron Hernandez trial on Youtube

    Study at a coffee shop and hour after work – hmmm..i have to go home otherwise my dogs get depressed if i dont come home on time

    Walk the dogs for 30 minutes. – probably not possible cause i have to walk each dog separately cause they excite each other and start pulling in two different directions, very hard to control a great dane going in one direction and a labrador going in another direction

    Get the NINJA Audio for your commute … 30 min x 2 ways x 5 days = 5 hours/week. — i have been thinking about purchasing Ninja products since Rogers is too expensive for me this early on in the game.

    thank you for your help!!!!!



    I've had the same problem before but at the end of the day, Youtube will still be there after you pass your test.
    If you buy the Ninja Audio lectures, which I highly recommend, you can listen in your car as Jeff mentioned, but you can also listen while you walk your dogs. Another option is to get a temporary dog walker.
    This exam unfortunately makes you make a lot of sacrifices.



    If you don't sacrifice the instant gratification of youtube, reddit, twitter, facebook, snapchat, etc., etc. to study for the exam you will fail. Ask yourself “what is more important, watching videos or getting your CPA license?”


    thank youu i will look into ninja products today

    my mom tried to walk the dogs before and all they did was sit on the sidewalk in front of the house and wouldnt move until i came out and walked them. they are just extremely demanding but i dont mind spoiling them endlessly they are like my kids


    At the expense of coming across as rude…

    Is it possible that you don't want to be a CPA bad enough yet?

    You have to want it more than your desire to goof off on social media…more than your desire to make excuses about your dogs being depressed.

    Buckle down…knock the exam out. No excuses.



    ^ I had to want to pass more than my desire to come home from work and play Madden on PS2.

    We all have our “thing” that distracts us…let's face it…the CPA Exam is boring.

    People come up with reasons to clean closets and organize kitchen drawers to avoid studying pensions. It happens.


    Honestly, if you really get into it you find yourself forgetting what is happening around you. I put my phone across the room, I keep it on silent, I sit at a table with nothing on it, and if I find myself going to yahoo or google I yell at myself. I tell myself “f that kardashian story, BE A CPA” lol.. The youtube video will always be there, the show/movie you want to watch can be recorded and watched later. Watch a youtube video after you finish an entire section, make it a prize for yourself. You'll feel less guilty…I tell myself after every hour or topic, I can play on my phone for a little, and I've realized I don't even care to stop and do it and I just keep hitting topics. Once you're in the mood you stay in it for a while.



    “Until you want to succeed more than you want to breathe, you will not be successful”

    This quote worked really well for me. It wasn't until I drilled this into my head a million times that I started to realize that the short-term pain was worth the long-term happiness and success I would receive afterwards. I kept feeling bad for myself about how I would be studying all over the holidays and wanted everyone to feel bad for me. And then I thought, “who cares”. No one is going to feel bad for me. Just study and get it done.

    Granted, I am still waiting for my score to be released on February 7th, but I have confidence and faith that I passed and I will officially be a licensed CPA. If for some reason I fail, then I will go back to the drawing board and pass it on my last try before a test expires. The main thing is, you have to get your head right and make the CPA your life. Until you do that, the majority of people are not able to pass this exam….


    I kinda have told myself that im gonna pass every exam on the first go, like there is NO FREAKIN WAY im gonna attempt it over and over again, im only giving myself one chance. So currently im starting with FAR which seems the worst. I have glanced at Audit and BEC but it seems theory heavy which i can do.

    Yes, I want to be a CPA. I just have to have a lot more discipline. The max i can focus is 30 minutes on any one section. At first I was not even able to do the first page of the first section but then I made myself do it..then i did the second page..then the third. I tried that technique that CHR1437 is talking about and it seems to work most of the time.

    I just have to get off youtube and reddit and start using lunch time for studying.

    thank you all!


    Sometimes you need to fail a section in order for you to realize there is a learning curve and putting in half the effort just won't cut it. I took FAR first and definitely underestimated it – I did the bare minimum with a good amount of social media and going out with friends mixed in. It's a good reality check when you get your first failing score because then you realize that you can't just skid on by. I'm not saying you should fail and I hope that you don't, but we all need that wake up call where we realize, as Jeff said, that we have to want it more than watching Youtube videos.



    Well, today is your intervention….we fellow ninja's are encouraging you to get down to business. Deal with your fears and excuses, turn off you-tube and etc and pass the test. Time goes by so fast before you know it, it's quarter 2 no passing grade, no studying, New years resolution to get it done down the drain, ore vows to get it done and it's quarter 3; spring time, fishing, sleep overs, headaches, but no studying and no passing grades. So no more procrastination, deal with it dogs, friends, you tube,etc and get it done.


    there is NO FREAKIN WAY im gonna attempt it over and over again, im only giving myself one chance.

    @OP – It sounds to me like you're setting yourself up for failure. I'm not trying to be a Debby Downer or discourage you, but the number of people who pass all 4 sections on their first attempt without any failures is less than 20%. A little bit of a struggle/failure is good for all of us, it teaches us to keep pushing in life even when things get hard.

    It took me failing FAR on my first attempt to really decide I wanted this and to force myself to stop making excuses (pets, work, friends, entertainment, money, etc.) My girlfriend sat me down and told me she believed in me but wasn't willing to sacrifice all of our free time if she didn't believe I was putting in 100% effort to passing. After that, I bought Ninja MCQ to supplement my Roger course and told my friends I'd be back playing video games 3-4 nights/week when I was a CPA. 8 months later I became a CPA, moved with my family to a new state, and changed jobs for a 25% pay increase.

    This process forced me to grow up and realize what was really important in life and how to drop everything and devote myself to goal attainment. I did go back to playing video games, but only one night a week. I did go back to YouTube, but only a few of my favorite channels and not every single video they put out like I used to.

    Put in MAX EFFORT now so you can be done and have as much time as you want with your dogs/family after you pass and for the rest of your life.



    I don't want to come off as rude either, but do you think perhaps you should wait to study until after you take your classes and find another job? I don't know if two hours in the evening is enough to fill out job applications, do homework for your classes and study for your CPA exam.

    You could also try to get up two hours earlier and study for two hours in the morning and an hour during lunch for your exam and two hours for HW and job applications in the evening. You could turn off your phone while you are studying to avoid getting distracted. Maybe even block FB, YouTube, Reddit, other websites if it's that bad. I know your dogs needs walking, but it shouldn't affect them too much for you to take an hour after work to study and make it home an hour later than usual. They will get used to it if you create a routine. You mentioned your mom tried walking them and they wouldn't, but have you tried walking them together. She takes one dog and you take the other – this way you might be able to cut the walk down about 45 minutes. Otherwise, I would walk each dog 30 minutes max – not until they are satisfied. You could always take them for longer walks on the weekend. Dogs are smart – they will adjust to the new routine 🙂

    Since you mentioned you have trouble focusing, I would recommend the Pomodoro method. Basically you focus for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. It really works as a way to stay focused – just make sure your breaks are only 5 minutes. If you do 4 Pomodoros (2 hrs) then you take a 15 minute break.

    As the saying goes, “if something is important, you will find a way; otherwise you will find an excuse”. It looks like right now you are finding excuses because maybe it isn't important enough yet. Like Jeff said, we all have our “thing” to distract us, but in order to pass these exams we have to make sacrifices, especially if you want to pass them all on the first time!

    Good luck!



    I blocked certain websites through an add-in so I stayed focused. Sometimes you just get stuck on websites for no reason at all.

    I agree – if you want it bad enough you will sacrifice to make it happen!

    Good luck and stay focused.



    Here is my peanut gallery thoughts:

    I had similar issues – couldn't focus, couldn't stay focused was not interested. I ended up seeing the doctor and they said I'm on the focus spectrum of ADD (from what she said a mild case but it's still there) and I'm also a very aural learner which is probably why I did so well in college because classes were lecture based. Now with studying, it's a whole different ball game. Anyway, there is medication for ADD – I tried but it made me too jittery so I started seeing a counselor/life coach. That was best thing I ever did. I saw him for about 6 months, here's some tips he gave me.
    – Study 50 minutes then take a 10 minute break – commit to those 50 minutes though. Say I'm going to study really hard for 50 minutes and do it. If 50 minutes comes up and I'm in a groove, I go until the groove has ended. During the 10 minutes take a walk, make a light snack etc – something away from any screen
    – Set mini rewards – if I make a plan to do chapter 3 in 3 days and succeed, maybe I allow myself to spend 4 hours binge watching my favorite TV show on NetFlix or go to the movies or do something else fun
    – I have since purchased the NINJA software – I listen to the audios in my car. When I'm watching football, I read the book/notes during intermissions. During football games, I get tons of studying done – it just makes the games a little less fun to watch.
    – Make flash cards and carry them around with you wherever you go. Waiting in a long line – pull them out, commercials on the TV? That's enough time for a couple cards – waiting for meetings to start at work, pull them out, etc…
    – This might sound weird, but I like to change up where I'm studying. I have a standing study area, another area at a table, I bought a mobile lap desk and take it to the couch when I want to lounge – sometimes I'll bring it into my room and lay down. Something about the different study places keep it interesting. I also change between using my laptop, desktop and ipad. That seems to help a little bit too.
    – Saturday I eat breakfast and head to the library. They have free private rooms that you can sign up for. I block out 5 hours and usually just stay there until I get hungry or I get bored. I get some of my best studying done at the library.

    Good luck!!



    I had this problem in the beginning. Once you get serious you'll stop.


    I would study 20 minutes (using timer on phone) … 7 minute break (allowing 5 minutes to check the another71 forum and reply to a few posts) and then back at it.

    20 minute sessions…not too long, but long enough to make an impact.



    “…a test of discipline and persistence…”

    No worries if you can't muster up your own motivation. Tough love says there are plenty of people who can and will put in the effort, and they'll contentedly move ahead of those who can't and won't.

    Find the reasons you want to do this, and make it a priority. Or not.


    Thank you so much you guys for all your tips, im 30 mins away from getting off work and am going to do my best tonight and will let you guys know how it went.

    Thank you!!!
    Thank you!!!
    Thank you!!!
    Thank you!!!
    Thank you!!!
    Thank you!!!



    if you have a mac use the self control app, i am sure other types of computers have them too, it allows you to block certain websites for a certain period of time and no matter how much you try you won't be able to get around it until the time period you is set is over.



    Agree with the poster above that mentioned using an add-in to block sites. I've done that before. Sure, I can get around it, but it keeps me from “accidentally” opening it. Like, I can open up A71 when I get home to see what's new, and do it on “autopilot”. I don't always think “Oh, I want to go check A71”, I just sit down and before I know it I'm reading my 5th thread and still haven't started dinner.

    So, use an add-in that blocks the sites, or blocks them during certain times, etc. Truth be told, I got an add-in to block A71 at work, cause I was using it to research some stuff, then got side-tracked, then since I'm salaried (aka there early and late for no extra $$ lol) and never take my breaks I'd think “Well it's just a break” if I got on for a few minutes, and then I realized I was probably spending a lot more time on here than I realized. So, I blocked A71 at work. The add-in I used has a redirect option, so I found some quote about working hard on Google Images and made A71 redirect to the quote.



    Right now, you don't want it enough and you are making excuses.

    If the dogs are that big of a problem, give them away. And that is easy for me to say since I absolutely hate dogs, they scare me like snakes do for normal people. But it doesn't change the fact your are just making excuses for not working hard enough. There are hours in the day, everyone else that has worked full time while passing the exam has had to find those hours to study and we have found them. You will too if you want to get serious about it.

    And planning on passing them all the first time? I planned on that too, but I didn't plan on quitting the CPA on the first sign of failure. So go ahead walk your dogs, go do cartwheels with them. Then when you fail one, you're going to quit? Just like that?

    And I love Reddit and Youtube. I didn't quit it when I was studying. I also drank a lot when I was studying. Do you want to make excuses or pass the CPA exam? Sounds like you just want to make excuses and be lazy.


    “If the dogs are that big of a problem, give them away.”

    – funny you mentioned that…as a matter of fact I just got back from throwing them both in the back woods…thank you for that wonderful advice… are sooo smart and kind!!! freaking Mother Teresa over here….

    … NO I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT!!!!…but I'm glad you don't have dogs, or insects, or any other non human as a matter of fact. pls dont have kids. smh….you have issues.


    So to the rest of you guys, I did study yesterday, it wasn't a lot but I finished the section i had left the day before because i was sitting on reddit. And this morning i woke up at 4am and right now it's 5:33 and ive applied to a number of jobs YAY!!! So I am going to leave the job search to the mornings from 4 am to 6am cause I really cannot start using my brain right away for studying and i will leave the studying for the evening time.


    @aspencookie, i hear ha. The worst part about youtube is the damn comments. I can read those for days, no matter what video 😂😂😂



    No issues here, and I obviously wasn't trying to coddle you. If you want to get through the exam you have to mitigate your distractions. If you can't do that, you need to get rid of them, or you will not find the time to study then not be able to pass.

    This test is about self control and time management. You made a topic about how bad you are at managing your time due to Reddit and Youtube, then made more excuses on how it is impossible to walk your dogs in less than an hour and a half.

    I don't care about your excuses or feelings, and you know who cares a whole lot less? The AICPA.


    uhhhhhhhh…ok…thanks there “Mitch” whatever it takes to get you to stop responding to me.



    “Not to be rude,” like others have said, but your first replies to Jeff's suggestions were either excuses or tentative statements. That's fine and all- we all do it sometimes, but it's an attitude that will lead to the exams never getting done. How do I know? I've been trying to pass the exam going on four years.

    -Bought Becker with my own money after graduating in February 2013. Didn't even study for six months because I started working full time.

    -Let that lapse, as well as testing fees

    -Started “seriously” studying in 2015, bought Ninja, the Blitz and MCQ expired for that as well, as more testing fees.

    -Always blamed it on working long hours, even though I spent hours a day vegging.

    This year, I quit my full time job (amicably) to make studying my full time job. This certification might well cost me as much as a year of tuition at a state school when all is said and done, but it will earn me that back in a year or less.

    So in short, don't give up the dogs, but do give up the excuses. Decide how much you want to pass, and find solutions to the excuses.



    I think all Mitch is saying (maybe in more harsh words) is that all of us are going through the same experience, and while we are all here for support, no one is going to feel sorry for you because of things you have going on in your life (taking care of dogs too much, can't keep yourself off of social media)

    We have all had to give up many things while studying, some of us more than others. That is just what the test requires. If you are not willing to give up things for a short period of time, your chances of passing are slim to none. There is a reason why the cumulative passing score rate in 2016 was 48.25%. And just think, that is also made up of many people who do nothing with their time but study and still may fall short….

    If you ever need any advice on here for study habits or specific questions about Ninja MC or Becker, I and everyone else on here are more than willing to help. Once i hopefully get my passing score, i hope to still pop on here every now and then to “pay it forward” to others who are struggling. But for the sake of you not getting rude comments back to your posts, I would recommend not posting about how your not motivated to study or can't get yourself off of youtube…..

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