Productivity YouTube
Get inspired to use your time effectively. (Illustration by Sydney Sabbota, University of Michigan)

Watch These 4 YouTube Channels to Be More Productive This Semester

These YouTubers will help you have a more efficient school year. Just make sure you don’t watch them as an excuse to procrastinate.

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Productivity YouTube

These YouTubers will help you have a more efficient school year. Just make sure you don’t watch them as an excuse to procrastinate.

Socially distanced summer is over, classes are somehow back in session and it’s time to pretend like the world isn’t ending and get productive. However, it’s pretty difficult to feel motivated during a time like this, so I suggest you turn toward the productivity experts on YouTube.

YouTube is a wonderful place to get lost in. You can go down a rabbit hole or fall into a sea of mind-numbing and meaningless videos. But it can also be a great tool. Not only can you use YouTube to figure out what’s wrong with your phone or learn how to cook the perfect omelet, but it can also inspire you to get work done.

As productivity-focused YouTubers and study-with-me videos permeate the internet, I thought I would share four productivity and work-based YouTube channels that encourage a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle rather than just a busy one.

1. Jusuf

Jusuf (Jasmine) makes videos about her life, sustainability through a minimalist lifestyle and productivity. Her viewers praise her honesty, editing style and overall aesthetic.

She is the queen of aesthetic productivity videos. In addition to her videos on living a sustainable lifestyle, her productivity-based vlogs gain the most attention out of all her videos.

Every time I watch one of her vlogs, I am instantly motivated and inspired to get some work done. I like to throw on some of my favorite recent Jusuf videos when I need to be productive — like “Have a productive day with me //Jusuf,” posted in March or “My productive 9am Morning Routine,” which was posted in early August.

Although she was previously based in Zürich, the creator is planning on leaving the city and returning to the countryside with her family in September.

Jusuf is more than just another relatable creator on YouTube because she is just like her audience. The older teens and young 20-somethings that watch her videos are at a similar place in their life, just trying to figure everything out amid a pandemic.

2. Matt D’Avella 

Matt D’Avella is a filmmaker, podcaster and creator known for his popular Netflix documentary, “Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things.” His 2.85 million subscribers tune in to his YouTube channel regularly to learn how to live their life more efficiently and intentionally.

D’Avella takes a minimalist approach to the variety of topics that he covers in his videos, such as finances, exercise, productivity, technology, mental health and more.

D’Avella has cultivated a die-hard fan base. You have probably even seen some of his videos trending or suggested to you while browsing YouTube.

The first video that exposed me to the brilliance of D’Avella’s lifestyle and marketing techniques was “12 Habits That Changed My Life,” which he posted in 2019. The video compiles a lot of the challenges and habits that he tried to implement in previous videos. He reflects on his previous assumptions about habits and his ambitions that year.

In one of his most recent videos, “I have something really big to announce,” he reveals a project he had been working on in secret.

The project, Slow Growth Academy, is an online course featuring lessons he has learned in his life, “from building my filmmaking business, to paying off $97,000 in student debt, to forming healthy habits, making my first documentary and growing my YouTube channel.”

3. Jem

University of Waterloo student Jem (Jasmine Truong) is my most recent YouTube obsession. She is an absolute gem. With an adorable personality, calming voice and fun style, Jem is a staple of the lifestyle and productivity community on YouTube.

It could be the fact that she reminds me of one of my good friends, or the fact that her YouTube videos bring me peace, but I really enjoy her channel. I highly suggest throwing on a few of her videos while you organize your calendar, clean your apartment or cook a meal.

Not only is her Instagram feed beautiful, but it seems like she is meticulous with every single detail in all of her videos. The effort she puts into her videos — like “how to avoid burnout & find balance in your routine” and “preparing for back to school szn!” — shows her audience how much she cares about her work.

In addition to YouTube, Jem recently created a podcast called “Jem’s Coffee Shop.” Jem explains her motivations behind creating a podcast in her video “getting my life together: ep 1.”

Creating a podcast, she explains, was a way for her to discover her voice. Rather than focusing the podcast on one of her interests, Jem decided to just speak her mind on all the things that matter to her.

Since then, she has completed seven delightful podcast episodes. Each episode of her podcast is short, sweet and simple. They cover topics that interest Jem as well as her fans — like “it’s okay not to be okay” and “the nasty art of comparison.”

4. oh no nina

With 822,000 subscribers, Nina Yu (or oh no nina on YouTube) is all things pure and goofy. From day-in-the-life vlogs and lifestyle videos to fashion hauls and bullet journal videos, the University of California Berkeley alum posts about every subject I’m interested in.

Her series “not really studying with Nina” is entertaining yet inspiring. Although she is a recent college graduate, she still has loads of study-with-me type content on her channel that will motivate any college or high school student.

Since graduating, Nina continues to post videos about being productive as well as videos of her studying Korean. In one of my personal favorite videos, “speaking only korean while studying korean (okay actually konglish ahahah),” she attempts to speak almost entirely in Korean.

Nina has a very large following online and is generally adored by K-pop stans because of videos like “KPOP IDOL transformation: turning into my ‘lookalikes’” and “BTS inspired outfits (winter) | recreating kpop idol outfits with the clothes i have.”

Because of her sense of style, aesthetically pleasing editing skills and dedication to her fans, I have seen oh no nina compared to the YouTuber Bestdressed several times. When I scroll down to the comment section while watching one of their videos, I always find a comment saying something along the lines of “whenever Bestdressed or oh no nina posts it makes my day.”

While these YouTube videos promote a productive and healthy lifestyle, they can also be a form of procrastination for their audiences. So watch with caution!

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