Any tips for taking it slow (and not abandonning WK again)?

So, I first started back in 2015 and stopped some months later at level 26 and about 2100 burned items. I then permanently froze my account (vacation mode). :cold_face: Now I have returned and have just reset my account to level 1 to start over again. :dizzy_face:

My main reason to stop was, that it took me about 1.5-2h every day to do all the reviews and lessons. It just was too much of a time commitment and it still is with my current work/life situation.

Any tips on how to handle the lessons and reviews best and taking it slow and smooth? I’m totally fine with the whole process taking 5 years or longer. I know that I will most likely drop it again if it starts to take up so much of my time every day.

Should I first burn many items and leave new lessons be for some time for instance? Any suggestions?


If you only do 5 lessons per day the time commitment can stay pretty low. If you hit a rough patch, stop doing lessons till it passes. If 5 per day ends up being too much in the long run, you could do every other day. Try to schedule your reviews 4ish times a day.

I did this for a while and it kept things manageable while projects at work were eating all of my time.


I have 3 modes:

  • radical mode (less exciting than it sounds)
  • kanji mode
  • vocabulary mode

When I’m in radical mode, I do 9-12 lessons per day, kanji mode 3 lessons per day as they’re difficult to learn, and vocabulary mode 6-9 lessons per day.

I also don’t beat myself up if I miss a day of lessons on the weekends, but ALWAYS do my reviews.

This keeps my workload between 50-100 cards per day, approximately.

I also strive to ensure my “guru” pile is not over 200. If it is over 200, I might consider reducing radical or vocabulary mode to 3 per day as well.

Be the Asiatic clam farmer, never give uppu.


I might try something like that next time I’m in trouble.

I recently had a 3 month break of just doing reviews, as I wanted to focus on other aspects of japanese leading up to the JLPT. Now that I’ve started up doing lessons, I’m using the timeline userscript to keep an eye on how many reviews I have coming up in the next 24 hours and keep things to a manageable level. I mostly do my reviews on my commute, so this morning I didn’t do any new lessons as I could see that I was already going to have 50 reviews to do on my homeward journey and don’t want to add to that pile! It’s hard psychologically to see a pile of 100+ lessons and not think ‘I’ll just storm through those’, especially when they’re mostly vocabulary, but I know I will regret it in a few days time (and then again a few weeks later!).


I’ve found the largest contributing factor to burnout is Apprentice items. I think if you control how many apprentice items you have, by delaying lessons that might help. However, the vocabulary really helps to learn the Kanji, and might suffer if you use a script to reorder.


i’m in a similar situation, too much work on wk will turn me off again, and starting over is already getting a bit tiring.

what i’m doing is, i use the reorder script to sort the stuff in the order vocab → kanji → radicals.

i also take care that apprentice items don’t go up too much (100ish is ok, but when i’m a bit busier, i restrict it to 50), and i keep an eye on my gurus (200ish is where i apply brakes).

this is slowboating, but it’s sustainable. i’m running at 30-50 reviews/day half the time, the other half is no reviews at all - that’s when i add new lessons.

i only ever do more than 5 new items when i have prior knowledge of 3+ of them, which means that right now, i can do all lessons in one go (i reset from 31 to 12, so i still know a lot), but as soon as there’s content i find difficult, i’ll go in 5er batches to make sure i digest it properly.

i also never do more than 50 reviews at once. if there’s a session of, say, 60, i split it to 50 in the morning and 10 in the evening, the reason being that sessions of more than 50 tire me, which leads to a drop in focus, which then causes worse results. that’s frustrating for absolutely no good reason at all, so i’m pacing myself like this.

it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.


My progress in WK was very stop/start until I started using the [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter - I found the mental workload of doing batches of nothing but kanji over several days a bit much, so this filter allows the user to set their batch size and the number of each of the item types to best suit their needs.

As you have stated that a timeline of 5 years is acceptable, and as there are about 3 times as many vocab as rads/kanji, doing a daily batch of 2 rads/kanji : 6 vocab (or if too much, 1:3) should keep you ticking along nicely.

Choosing the time you do your lessons so that you will almost always be able to hit those Lesson+4hrs & L+12hrs reviews really helps.

Best of luck, and good on you for getting back on the proverbial horse! :horse:


I have three tricks:

  1. keep
  2. your apprentice queue
  3. as close to 100 items as possible.

I presume from these numbers you have your lesson number set at 3, which I think is a great tip. I find three lessons at a time much easier to retain and process than 5 and as you say allows you to be much more controlled in your lesson numbers each day.

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Yeah! I forgot to mention that as a tip, 3 lessons is so much more digestible than 5. So easy to tell yourself to do just one lesson.

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