Burnout with new job and can't focus

I started a new job recently and I enjoy the work, but it is very mentally taxing. So when I get home at the end of the day I just can’t focus when I try and do my reviews or any other studying. I know I am not the only one studying Japanese with a job that requires heavy use of your thinking sphere. I am looking for advice from anyone that may be able to help me get back into my groove or a strategy to prevent or reduce the mental fatigue at the end of the workday.
I did not have this issue in college or in my previous position, being mentally fatigued almost daily after work is a new experience for me.


My strategy is to go to bed early, and get up early, and use my best most alert hours on studying.

Extreme measure: go on vacation mode. When you feel ready to study again, if you feel you are struggling, reset a few levels. If you need to, even resetting to level 1 is not a disaster. You will get a giant boost to your motivation when you realize how much you know, and in four months you can be back up to level 15. In the interim, you can maintain your interest in Japanese with passive learning: music, movies, manga, …

Good luck. You will settle into your job, and your energy for learning will return. :slight_smile:


You say you started your new job recently. If it has indeed been very recent, I think it’s fine to need time to adjust. ^^

A new job is taxing. New place, new people, new things to learn, learning how to do things you know in certain ways for the company.

If it is all very new, allow yourself time to adjust.

If need be, consider not doing new lessons for a while. If adjusting is causing too much fatigue right now and you can’t focus, you’re liable to just rack up leeches if you force through lessons. That gets frustrating.

Best of luck! I hope you’ll manage to adjust soon, so that you can enjoy both your new job and your learning!


I agree with Rose and Omun. Give yourself time to adjust to your new role and schedule.

I’m not too big on resetting because I feel that the SRS will take care of things that your brain seems to forget but you will always know what is best for you.

Take things slowly and take care of yourself first. When you feel like you’re already up for it, do whatever you need to do to get back on track. This may mean waking up earlier, squeezing in reviews during lunch break instead of socializing or even doing them on the commute to work and back (not recommended if you drive, obvs). Eventually, you’ll figure out a routine that works best for you and get back into the swing of things.

I’m rooting for you, especially because I am on the same boat. LOL. We will get through this! 頑張れ! Keep us posted.


Going through this right now… Wrapping a project this week and starting a new assignment that’s on site in another week. Total chaos at the moment. Been dealing with a lot of stress. Just taking it easy and moving forward at a speed that’s slow by most standards but I’m still progressing forward. I already take about 2 weeks per level because I’m so busy. As long as you just keep going little by little.

Personally I’ve been using my apprentice items as the barometer for what I can manage. If it’s too much I just don’t do lessons no matter how badly I want to level up. I have found a little less than 100 seems to be working out fine. I’d suggest zero new lessons for a while until you’re settled a bit. Keep doing reviews. Then try to keep the apprentice times at 90 and see how it goes and move that number up or down by 10 as appropriate until your settled.

Eventually things will settle down and you’ll find a new groove. Personally I’d rather go slower than have to reset and do rework. As long as you learn it, does it really matter if it takes 7, 10, 16, or 30 days per level?

Best of luck!


I’d personally advise against using vacation mode, and I’d recommend to just stop doing lessons for a while (but keeping up with reviews as far as possible). So basically just don’t think about learning new things but focus on retaining things. Reason being that (imo) it’s a waste to screw up your SRS timings and often people who enable vacation mode end up leaving it on way too long or never disable it again…

My job is also mentally taxing, but you do get used to it after a while. For now I’d just refrain from doing new stuff if you are feeling overwhelmed.



:point_up: :point_up:

It’s that simple. You got this @Tomtastic :heart:


This is good in theory, but it kills your social life because who wants to hang out with somebody who gets sleepy at 7 pm? :rofl:


This is definitely something I’ve struggled with as well - feeling like you have to put other stuff on hold just to mentally deal with work sucks. I still struggle with it during busier times, but it was definitely worse when I was newer to the job, so I think that it will probably get better over time, at least to some extent. Definitely seconding what’s been said about allowing yourself time to adjust to the new job, and not taking on any new lessons for now. Put your studies on “maintenance mode,” and just focus on retaining what you already know. When you’re ready to do more, do more.

I think part of the key to dealing with that end-of-day fatigue is to give your brain a reset moment when you get home. Give yourself permission to do something that requires absolutely no brain power for a little while after work. The “give yourself permission” part is key - don’t feel bad/guilty about needing to mentally tap out for a bit, and don’t think about all the stuff you still need/want to get done. Personally, I like to put on a TV show or movie I like (often one I’ve seen before) while I eat dinner and browse the internet, but you do you. Then, at the end of your designated relaxation time, go sit down and study, even if it’s just a little. Don’t overload yourself, but that will at least keep you in the habit of studying, so that you don’t drop it completely.

I’ve gotten into the habit of getting up an hour earlier than I technically need to so I can have some time before work to do whatever while my brain is still fresh - I used to use that time for WK, actually, although I later started doing that on my morning commute and doing other things during my hour instead (a lot of times, that’s when I do my reading for the Japanese book clubs). Something that sounds kind of dumb but actually does help make me feel more mentally alert and rested when I stick to it is going to bed at a time when I will wake up at the end of a sleep cycle - use this sleep calculator to figure out when your best bedtimes will be, depending on when you have to wake up in the morning.

Anyway…hope some of that is useful. I definitely don’t have a magic bullet answer, but I understand your pain and wish you luck ^^ Give yourself time, and you’ll find what works best for you.
Also, I’m sorry this is so long…like everything I post ><


Thank you everyone for all of your advice and support. I am going to try and focus on just keeping my reviews clear then keeping my apprentice number less than 100. I need to slow down for a bit. Receiving all this feedback really is helping to keep me motivated.
Now I just need to tackle my 500+ reviews I’ve been neglecting.


Try doing exercise after work, then coming back to study, instead of watching TV like others suggested, imo watching a movie or even playing non mentally taxing games can leave you tired and take away motivation momentarely, while exercise clears up your mind. Also they distract you even when you are not watching the movie or playing anymore, since you are still thinking about what happened in the movie for example.

1 Like

But what if you want to go to bed at 42:00?


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.