How do I stop this drowning feeling?


I don’t typically post to community sites or forums, nor do I often ask for help, but WK is something I’m very invested in, so I feel it’s in my better interest to step outside my comfort zone for some assistance.

I had some medical issues that pretty abruptly made a nightmare of my WK schedule (which I had only just recently established, anyway). I didn’t manage to turn on Vacation Mode prior to much of the ‘damage’ being done, so I kinda feel like I’m drowning now. I can get through the heaps of reviews; that’s no problem. I can even integrate new lessons, too; again, no issue there.

My problem comes from the… disjointed feeling of having intervals not lining up well, if that makes sense? I know there are many people in the community who get super into the nitty gritty of SRS scheduling; I’m not one of those people (I’m horrible with math, for one), but I am unfortunately susceptible to feeling when my intervals are off. It’s incredibly distracting to me and it makes me feel like I’m constantly trying to ‘catch up’ to something that–by design–will always be several steps ahead.

Basically, if I stop my reviews to focus on lessons, I’m branching out an entirely new set of intervals. If I stop all my lessons to do reviews, how do I know when to restart my lessons since I’m halfway through my current level? Maybe I could just work on getting all my current level items to A4 (or G2?) and then starting fresh with the next level’s lessons? How would I even do that?

Anyway, that’s probably the best I can outline my problem. Sorry for ranting. Also sorry if this sort of thing is commonly asked here; I’m not terribly sure how I’d go about finding that since it’s a little more nuanced than simply “how to catch back up” or something.

I’ll shut up now.

Thank you in advance for any and all your help. :heart:


I guess the answer could be, if you feel like you’re drowning, to just slow down a bit and give yourself permission to to do that and not worry about ‘intervals’. Because you only really need to worry about the minutiae of intervals if you’re trying to go as fast as possible? Otherwise your intervals will just sort of sort themselves out according to when you have time to do them. You don’t need to do reviews the minute they pop up.

And I’d say don’t stop reviews to do lessons. Stop lessons and do reviews if anything. More lessons = more drowning. So I would say catch up with your reviews, at the times when it’s convenient to you to do so.

Many people suggest keeping their apprentice number at about 100 and only do new lessons when it gets below that. Then you don’t have loads of things you don’t really know well coming round and round and round and winding you up.

And then add in lessons slowly, say 5 a day or 10 a day etc so you feel you’re on top of them. (Sometimes I don’t do lessons at all, although I would prefer to. But I make the ‘do lessons only when I’ve got 100 apprentice’ rule primary).

Good luck and don’t give up! Don’t be hard on yourself. This is a long term project innit. Just do what you can when you can. Enjoyment over stress. (Well, a bit of stress I suppose :slight_smile: )


When you feel in difficulty, the answer is always to reduce or cut off lessons.
Lessons = more items to reviews.
Focus on what is already in your review backlog. And don’t worry too much on your accuracy. But keep a consistent schedule.
Once you’re feeling confortable again, do a few lessons and see how it goes. But only a small batch at first, don’t succomb to the temptation to clear them all in one go.


This happened me too recently. I was off for months and had 1700 reviews when I came back. I tried getting through them but it was taking forever as I had forgotten the last couple levels worth.

I bit the bullet and reset my level. I went down 3 or 4 levels and that wiped out all those reviews that had piled up. Not only that, the reviews that were left, I actually could remember them for the most part.

I absolutely flew through those few levels and was back to where I was in no time at all. This increased my confidence and I was actually looking forward to my reviews instead of dreading them.

Just reset your level and don’t look back. It’s the best choice I could have made. If you’re still not convinced then look at it this way… if you’re truly serious about learning Japanese, it’s something you are going to be doing for many many years to come, what difference is going back a few levels going to make?

Good luck :blush:


I’m not quite sure I understand your problem. But it seems to me as if you’d like to progress as fast as possible through WK ? But by doing so you are “drowning” in reviews and lessons ? Also always trying to review an item as soon as it comes up is too stressful for you ?

I’d say slow down a bit. Don’t try to level up as fast as possible. Going fast is nice, but if you burn out and/or start hating Japanese/WK, that just isn’t worth it. Rather take a few steps back and stay in the race.


Pick a number of reviews you want to do. It could be 100 or 200 per day. Install scripts to filter the reviews to specific levels. For example, filter it so all of the level 1-5 kanji are what you review in that 100 or 200 block.

The next review session, do the same. This will start to filter the kanji back into a semi-balanced SRS schedule and not require a TON of effort from you. And if you get to level 12 or something, given you are at 15, and you just can’t get things to stick, reset ONE level. Never, ever reset to the beginning if you are more than a few levels in (which you are more than a few in :smiley: ). Reset one level every time you feel like that level’s kanji isn’t sticking and eventually you will have rebuilt the SRS levels to normal-ish and knocked out all your reviews.

This is just a recommendation, of course. Do what you need to do to get back on the horse!

Good luck!


Thanks for the reply! I don’t read a ton in the community, so I hadn’t come across the ‘apprentice 100’ rule you mentioned. It sounds like it could come in handy; I’ll see if it works for me going forward!


Much appreciated~ I do focus on reviews more than lessons, generally, and I don’t let accuracy get under my skin. A consistent schedule, as you mentioned, is what I’m most concerned with re-establishing and keeping.

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It’s probably one of the best metrics for managing your review load. The other one is the number of lessons you do per day.

At 100 Apprentice and 20 lessons per day, you can expect roughly 150-200 reviews per day. Adjust that up or down accordingly for your schedule.

The other important note is that any changes you make to your routine will take about 2 levels or 1-2 months to take effect given the intervals.


Oof, that sounds rough. 1700 reviews? Honestly, I might’ve burned myself out in situation, constantly convincing myself I could get through that backlog. :sweat_smile:

But I actually forgot WK had a reset level function, I’ll be honest. I’m glad you mentioned it because I may just end up doing that. I’m not in this to finish it as quickly as possible, but I also don’t want to drag my heels, either. Losing a little time to gain confidence sounds like a good payoff, though!

Thank you! :blush:

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Sorry if I wasn’t very clear in my original post. After reading these replies and looking back over it, I can see that I could’ve been more specific!

I’m not trying to rush WK. I don’t want to spend 3-4 years on it, but I’m also not speedrunning it, either. I’m trying to keep a comfortable, consistent schedule that works best with my (admittedly quite bad) memory.

I guess the simplest way to put it is: I had just established a schedule, had it disrupted, and now have jumped back into it and am having trouble finding my footing again, if that makes sense?

Regardless, I appreciate your input. Taking a couple steps back may be the best way to go forward. Just give myself a bit to figure things out, I guess.

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That’s really helpful, thank you! :purple_heart:

I do have some scripts installed and I’m still kind of getting the hang of using them, but I think I can figure something out. Resetting a level might be the sort of ‘checkpoint’ that I need to get back into the race at my own rhythm. I don’t mind the lost time, anyway, so I’m going to look into that if need be!

Thanks again~ :3


Good to know!

I tend to not go overboard on my lessons 'cause my memory is really awful. 10-15 at the most per day. Once things are established, I’m pretty good about remembering them, though, so even 150-200 reviews a day isn’t really that bad for me.

I guess I’ll just have to test some things and see how they play out for me. :blush:

It’s also good to know that routine changes are reflected in ~2 levels, so thank you. Keeping that in mind will help me recognize when things are starting to fall into place.


(がんばれ)頑張れ :partying_face:

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i’ve had health issues for a long time, so i can kind of sympathise

the schedule you’ve established is important for you, so i’d keep to that schedule. if you have too many reviews, do just a few at a time, at the times you’d usually do reviews. then when the reviews are back down to more manageable numbers you can start adding lessons again.

if you’ve been doing a “first review” session 4 hours after you do lessons, then you could skip that session until you have new lessons, so you don’t have items bunching up at that time.

but really, just stick to your schedule, and it’ll clear itself up ^^

you can do it!

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I don’t post on community forums either, but I figured I could help since I don’t think this bit was mentioned here:

WK generally gives the next review of an item after multiples of 24 hours (except for the first two times right after the lesson, then the intervals are a bit shorter. Or you get the item wrong, in which case the interval might also mess up). This means that if you do a review at, let’s say, 9 AM, you will get the next review of that item at 9 AM tomorrow (or two days later, or a month later, doesn’t really matter, right?).

So if you want to establish a review schedule you could try, instead of doing your reviews the very moment they become available, to just wait a bit and do a whole bunch of them at a time that you prefer. This way you will get subsequent reviews of those items at the same time and establish some sort of review schedule.

Anyway, this is what I do to some extent and it works fine for me - I pretty much get a big bunch of reviews in the morning every day, then I also do any ‘leftovers’ in the evening and don’t worry about anything that’s in between.

Okay, I won’t say anything else, lots of good advice has already been given :). I hope this post helps more than it confuses, and good luck!


I would like to stick to the semblance of a schedule I’d already begun to carve out for myself, yes! So, you may be right in that I’ll have to work in smaller bits to fall back into that specific rhythm.

It’s either that or I forfeit a level and start ‘from scratch,’ but we’ll see! Got lots of good advice that I’ll take into account in deciding how to continue.

Thank you! :purple_heart:

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That’s actually a very good point, yeah. Even if I ignore the ‘in between’ times, they’ll eventually get done during the times that I do my reviews, yes?

My schedule was set to do 10-15 lessons and clear out my reviews at 9 AM. Then I’d review the 9 AM lessons at 1 PM, then do final reviews at 9 PM.

So, even though I currently have reviews popping up at all hours of the day, it seems, I can find of funnel them into my schedule is basically what you’re getting at, right?

I’ll definitely have to try that 'cause the schedule I had going was nice and I’d love to get back to that.

Thanks for the input! :blush:


If you set consistent times for your reviews, they’ll become consistent too. The only thing popping up would be for items in apprentice one or two, the rest will come at the same time you did the review for the next one.


that’s exactly what i meant. do your reviews at 9 am/pm. skip the 1pm review until you add new lessons, so you don’t have random old items messing up your first review of the new lessons ^^

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