Burning out

I feel like I’m burning out repeating every day the same routine, I know I will have a feeling of regret if I stop for a half year for example, and telling myself what if.

I have plenty of time every day that’s not the case. It’s just that I wanna make sure I hit at least lv30 next year, so that’s why I keep pushing myself.


It may be best to take a breather once in a while when you get those feelings of burning out, nothing wrong with slowing down a bit to give your brain a break – are you having a high number of reviews? Are they bogging you down? (I see you have 351 apprentice items, that can be pretty overwhelming for anyone!)

Maybe only do reviews and not add lessons for a bit and bring that apprentice count down, you may need to revisit some of the mnemonics, or come up with your own, and make sure you take care of any leeches you keep getting wrong

In the meantime, you could do some “fun” Japanese activities that you enjoy to keep that enthusiasm for the language going – watch some anime, listen to music, play some video games, etc, whatever it is that you like and that brought you to want to learn this language in the first place

There’s no need to worry about speed, it’s more about consistency – even slow progress, is progress :slightly_smiling_face:


I think during these times, it is important to remember why you started and the goals you have set before you made the move to study Japanese. Remembering what my goals are and what I would like to achieve with an extra language and what the view would look like from the top when I finally ‘make it’, helps me put in more effort. Good luck!


easy going: enter vacation mode, go on hiatus. you’re level 10, the worst that can happen is ~1000 reviews… can clean that up in one go in case you ever return.
or don’t use vacation mode, it doesn’t make a huge difference anyway. can’t put your brain on vacation.


Take a breather, whittle down the reviews. I haven’t touched a lesson in two or three months now. Unless you have some strict deadline for work or something, there’s no rush. Better to arrive at your goal late, than to rage quit.


Just use vacation mode. Or you can do what I do, which is I just learn 10 new words a week (from the lessons portion) and it makes it a lot more manageable.

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Don’t be afraid to tone back a bit as others are saying. I just took after feeling burned out and to prep for JLPT. I am now ready and excited to get back on track, especially with the new update.


I just want to post to back up @MissMisc
351 apprentice items is going to burn out anyone. It seems like there’s some problem with retention, probably involving the mnemonics. Forget about lessons until you can sort that down to at least under 150, and you’ll probably be fine!


Something that kept me from burning out was using the double-check script to force correct answers on all Apprentice items. I started doing this at around level 40 just for newly-unlocked items, but doing so prevented me from getting frustrated by endlessly seeing the same terms over and over.

I stopped doing this altogether at 60 (since there are no new lessons coming in). As long as you don’t cheat yourself on higher SRS items, you’ll be fine. The SRS will make sure you know it all in the end :pray:


I was one of the first 42 people to reach the end, and my level times look like this

Burnout is real, but it doesn’t have to stop you forever.


Nice graph

To think that now we’re getting closer to 1000 users at 60


Do you have a particular method for when you do your lessons? If you have a high Apprentice count, it sounds like you may not be retaining the readings/meanings very well. Perhaps you’d want to invest a little more time during your lessons to better familiarize yourself with the kanji/vocab, and spread them out more over the course of a few days so you’re not doing large batches at a time. I know this varies from person to person, but large batches all at once can scramble your brain sometimes.

To address your current Apprentice items, does it feel like you’re seeing the same ones repeatedly? If you have leeches, you may want to study those outside of WK reviews, or at the very least review their info on the items’ pages individually.


I had a problem with that at the start of the year, so I set myself a new goal - the JLPT.
Maybe change your goal and work towards something close by? Maybe it’s a level of the JLPT or to read your first Japanese book or to watch your first Japanese show without subtitles?

Though, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break - I’ve been on and off since 1999 and I’ve been back on seriously for maybe two years, but I almost fell off a year ago.


I burnt out around the time that school started again in September. I wasn’t used to having so much on my plate. My time per level dropped from 7 days to 11 days and I felt awful. But the wonderful people on the Poll Thread (man those guys are great) told me that it was okay to slow down, which I did … for about two levels. My goal is N1 next December, and I had to keep working towards that. It’s okay to slow down for a while to take care of yourself but you can come back in later. There are only some people who have the most beautiful, even levelling graphs, and they’re probably superhumans or something :wink:


By what time next year, because you can make it with 12 day level ups in one year. (That is what I turned out to have done, with not really aiming for it)

Edit: hey ik zie dat je in Rotterdam woont! Amsterdammer hier!

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(mooi!), what do you mean? level up each 12 days. I wanna hit lv30 next summer.

Oh, you said next year, so I thought maybe you meant November or something. By summer is a different story

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I agree with everything that Miss said. Do that and the feeling of burning out will be gone @izildop. No one can handle 350 apprentice items.



I got pretty burnt out after taking the N4 in July, because I realised too late that I was in over my head and then crammed like crazy and then the experience was horrible. Not too long after that I messed up my visa application and got a mental block about putting in the effort to keep going.

I’ve thought about resetting my levels, but each time I go on wanikani, although my success rate is lower than its ever been (36%! I used to get 87%) most of the items that I’m getting correct are burns. It’s very reassuring. Something at least has stuck in my brain.

Now I’m re-engaging and refocusing. Happy to have found the Castbox app, now I sling on some free JapanesePod101 or Bilingual News and listen while I make art. Even if the level is a bit high for me, I’m getting used to hearing Japanese and I can pick out bits here and there.

This is a marathon. Some people are going to do it in the equivalent of 2 hours, some more like 6 (I guess you could almost do a direct translation of hours to years). Some of us will need to rest and refocus more. Don’t beat yourself up about it.


Why obsess so much with the levels, though? What you learn and retain is much more important than hitting the levels. They are not the only guideline for learning kanji and Japanese.