Fitting WK and general study around a non-office job

Hi folks, Ru here. Over the years I’ve been learning Japanese on and off, I’ve worked a lot of different jobs. I haven’t really had a career, and in some cases have lost jobs through no fault of my own (global financial crash ceasing all pharmaceutical investment; global pandemic halting all tourist activity within Japan; arts council project shut down because of a corrupt local council). Some of these jobs have been office jobs, and at them it’s generally easy to fit in study and WK around them. If you work from home it’s even easier because there’s no micromanagement over your shoulder.

I’ve recently started working as a bus tour guide, and I’m finding it so hard to keep up with my WK already! Essentially I’m on duty for around 10 hours a day, talking across 3 tours and their length is dictated by factors like traffic. Sometimes I only get a 30 minute break between tours and once I’ve walked 1km to the nearest public toilet and sorted out refuelling my body, there’s no time left for reviews. Other study is also difficult as I can’t listen to podcasts while reciting facts about St Paul’s cathedral, and by the time I get home, I’m knackered.

I was wondering if anyone else has experience with fitting Japanese studies around a non-office job, specifically jobs where you can’t just whip out a laptop or phone whenever you like.

So, all the WK using concrete pourers, nurses, and arborists- how do you make study work with a non-office job?


Do the tour narration in Japanese.


One of my colleagues during training was Japanese, so during that period I was able to chat with her and get live conversation practice, but we work solo on the buses and all have different shifts, so the next time I see her is not guaranteed.


To be fair, I can’t just pull out my phone and do reviews here in the office (doesn’t stop me sometimes though :wink: ).

I think just go for the tried and true method of having a review session when you wake up and one on the evening before bed time. You’re not going full steam through WK so it’s not gonna affect your speed any. Plus it takes away that overhanging responsibility you sometimes get thinking you need to get all your reviews done every hour or you’ll fail


For sure. I can’t do any reviews anymore during the day. I just do them in the morning/evening now.

But, I also get what you’re saying @rumade, about being too exhausted for studying. I’d be that way as well, with your job. I think it’s fair to say that some jobs are just not compatible with some hobbies. Hobbies that require a lot of concentration and focus from you, might be at odds with jobs that sap all your energy once you’re at home again. And there is little one can do about that, but change 1. hobby or 2. job.

I think the most constructive suggestion I can give you @rumade is to do all reviews in the morning, before your day get started.

It will be slower going, but can still be a routine thing with breakfast, where you are steadily moving forward with WK. And, just maybe, just before bed, listen to a youtube video or something lowkey, that doesn’t require too much of yourself. Something to relax to more than anything, but still engages your language learning in Japanese? :thinking: Remember that rest is more important than Japanese, in the end.


Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

I can basically pick how many hours I do, so maybe the key is to just stick with 3 or 4 days a week and then really push myself on the days I’m not working. I’m in a very fortunate place where my basic living costs are very low and my main reason for earning is to put money into savings and pension.

Interesting the point about certain hobbies not being compatible with certain lifestyles or jobs. I think that’s very true. Japanese for me is a hobby I really have to focus on as a solo thing. I can listen to English podcasts while cooking or exercising but my Japanese level isn’t high enough to do that efficiently or comfortably. Once I tried rowing to Japanese with Shun and found it the most boring experience ever :sleeping:


Welcome, @rumade , nice to meet you :wink:. I thinks I haz seen you around here somewhere before.

I just started my new job carrying mail. We have been warned by everyone that we will be working 10-12 hour days six days a week. That shouldn’t be hard at all for someone like me who has no hobbies or other activities in her life. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: I just zapped WK down to level zero so that I can do easy stuff when I want to. I am trying to put my garden to bed early this year. I am not going to be posting on Instagram much. Not taking photos. :cry: Cancelling all social engagements. :sob:

The big payoff is that once I get my own route, and then in a couple of years when I get a little seniority, I can work more reasonable days. For now, I am figuring out how I am going to do these long work weeks.

Not much language study for me. :sob: :boo-hoo-hoo:

(more apropos to your question, I always kept my morning study session, even when I was really busy. It slows down progress to only have one session a day, but it is better than none. )

Also, it is too bad that you don’t know anyone well who can help you with speaking and interaction. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I also say morning and night.

Also maybe sort them by SRS with a script or app so you do lower SRS first (apprentice first, then guru). This helps cause if you run out of time, maybe you’re too tired at night, leaving some Masters or Enlightened (I’ve even left Gurus) for the next day is not a big deal. For example Enlightened are in there for 4 months, so making it 4 months + 2 days doesn’t affect it much. This helped me a lot. Making sure to get the apprentice and guru 1s is the most important for me.

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