*Burned out* Am I perpetually screwed?

Hello my fellow crabigators.

I was a happy little boy until big boy job got in the way and I burned out. I was doing my reviews without fail every day. First thing in the morning when I woke up and then throughout the day. But this was when I was still looking for a job in my profession. Once I got the job, waking up early to do reviews just did not happen and after work I was too tired to do more mental work.

It has been about 5 months since I activated vacation mode. The good thing is that when I went on vacation, my reviews were 0. My daily reviews were between 100-120 because I stopped doing lessons for about a year. I realized that I had many items on guru and master but in reality I did not know those words well. I kept getting them wrong review after review and I grew tired of it. This is where I am at:

I have been picking up Japanese again but at my own pace. I’m enjoying it again watching videos on youtube and listening to my beginner podcasts. I have not forgotten the basic grammar an surprisingly I still remember a lot (quite a lot) of the words I have learned from wk which makes me happy. But I want to continue to do my reviews because I have forgotten how to read a lot of the kanji but I know as soon as I do reviews it would not take long to remember them. My stats:

Here’s where I would like some advise. I want to resume reviews (no lessons at all) but I only want to do what I feel like. Perhaps I could start just doing 20 words and that’s it. But because of this the reviews will start to pile on. Do you think it’s wise to do this? Would it take me a loooooong time to send them all to enlightenment doing it this way? My hope is to achieve this and burn them all so that I can start taking lessons again but never let guru rise more than 50 for example.

At this point I am not worried about learning more vocab from wk since I am still immersing. What do people suggest? Should I do 20 reviews a day or is there a better way to do this? I am truly burned out from the constant grind I was doing everyday but I do not want to forget all the Kanji I used to be able to read. I have worked hard to get to where I am :cry:

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You seem to be in my exact situation at the beginning of 2023, just came back from a lo g stop but on the contrary I had forgotten (almost) everything haha!
I don’t have specific answers for you, but what I did (and it worked) was to approach it without any pretense and just do what I could, and what I would feel like doing. I eventually found my rhythm again and increased study productivity.
Now that you have a job it won’t be easy as it was, you have to accept (I say this because I struggled doing it lol) that life comes first and job is important.
The best chance you have to be able to keep going is doing it at a pace you feel comfortable (which will vary constantly)… and be ready for busy days… for me it was, begin with doing some reviews everyday till I overcame the 600 items pile. During this process I failed as many items as possible to the slightest doubt because I didn’t want burnt items that I didn’t truly remember. After a bit I started reading from zero and worked my way back to confidence on a certain level’s material and am increasing from there. Soon after ending reviews I also started doing my lessons but lately commitments (reading and grammar study included) are too much to keep leveling, so I simply stopped. I’m still improving on something or other but I take it easy. Consistency over everything :point_up_2:

Wish you the best with it, I know what it feels like being forced to stop, I’ve been hired for my first serious job recently as well and this turned into a gigantic lifestyle change. Adapt to it and 進め!


I don’t know how you’re currently doing your reviews, but the Tsurukame app with Anki flashcard mode was a game changer for me. It makes it so much easier to do reviews in the in between minutes of the day where I’d normally not be doing anything else. I can clear a handful of reviews from my queue while waiting making a cup of tea or in a moment of boredom between tasks. Not having to sit down at a computer and hammer away at a keyboard makes it a lot easier to fit reviews into the rest of your day.


I subscribe this, I’m on Tsurukame’s Anki mode as well and it helped a lot


if you’re doing fewer reviews than WK wants you to, i recommend sorting your reviews by SRS (using a userscript, for example [Userscript] Reorder Omega)*. because SRS breaks if the review pile gets much larger than what you can do every day. your review pile will continue to grow as all your items in higher srs levels come due (been there, done that). your goal then is to get through e.g. all the apprentice items (or even just all the apprentice x items), and start digging away at the higher level items.

i’ve found reordering by SRS to work for getting through large review piles, and also to be very forgiving when i’m busy and don’t have the time and energy to do all my reviews.

*or WK’s built-in Order by WK Level, but i think ordering by SRS is probably better


I’m crawling back from a +1200 review mountain and can abide by this. Currently at 860 :slight_smile:


This 100%. I use the flaming durtles ap on android a lot of the time and you can do the reorder there too. I can tell that the reorder on the app is much better than the “order by level” on WK because they don’t match up. I honestly don’t know why this isn’t just the standard way WK works.


Oh ok that sounds like the best solution. I have just downloaded tsurukame app (because I do not do reviews on my pc; only iPhone) and I see these options:

Ascending SRS stage
Current level first
lowest level first
Newest available first
Oldest available first
Descending SRS stage
Longest relative wait

If the SRS stage is the best option out of all of these, I think it would be better to do Ascending SRS stage right? This way you always see the ones that are closest in time to be repeated. I think ultimately is the same but which do you use?

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Also, for those using tsurukame:

Would it be wise to select “minimize review penalty”? : D

ascending SRS would be the way to go, yes

personally i’ve never used the minimise penalty option, i recon if i get an item wrong often enough that WK wants to move it back to apprentice1, i probably need that. but it’s still a valid choice

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I don’t want to create a new topic for this so hopefully I’ll get an answer here:

If my hope is to avoid burn out again by doing 20 or 30 words max a day, wouldn’t reviews start to pile up either way and keep going up?

yes, your review pile will increase for quite some while.

the theory with sorting by srs level is that it doesn’t matter as much if higher-level items are overdue. if an apprentice 3 items is a week overdue, that’s seven times longer than it should be. a guru 2 item which is a week overdue is only half as long. for an enlightened item, a week more hardly makes a difference. so if the review pile is larger than you can manage, it’s more important to do the reviews of items of lower srs level.

but yes, at 20-30 items a day it’s quite probable that all the guru 1 items will be due before you finish with the current apprentice items. all the guru 2 before you work your way through guru 1. and so on.

i had a review pile which grew from 1200 to 1800 even though i was doing reviews every day, just because ll the enlightened items came due before i got to them.

you might also consider resetting a couple of levels. for me, most of the items from the last WK level were still in guru, and i’d probably have forgotten most of them anyway, so it cleared the initial load of items considerably. but that’s something you need to consider for yourself.

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