How do you deal with burnout?

Hey, im only level 8 but I already feel burned out from time to time, while i still do my reviews every day i feel like i have a really slow progression even when doing around 150 reviews every morning, so my question is do you sometimes feel the same way ? when did you feel it first and how do you deal with it ?


I would try spreading your reviews out throughout the day if your schedule allows it. I usually feel burned out if I can’t do many reviews for a couple of days in a row and then they pile up. I try to either sprint them (do I know it in 2 sec or less? No? Enter eee and move on) or do them in batches. It depends on my mood and schedule.

I also deal with it by hopping on here and being social. There’s only so much Japanese my brain can handle daily lol. It’s good to take breaks.


On top of that, if you feel you’re getting too many reviews, you can control the amount by spreading out your lessons. For example, I only do 15 - 20 lessons per day, and on some days I do 0 lessons, if I feel I have accumulated too much new stuff I have not properly learned yet (mostly kun’yomi readings of verbs I haven’t yet come across through other media :sweat_smile:).


I feel like that from time to time but I really need this for personal reasons. So I just keep motivating myself by telling myself what would happen if I fail.

I don’t really feel this way on Wanikani because knowing more kanji is quiet rewarding. It makes me feel so good when I could read Japanese native material with ease. The thing I really struggle is practicing grammar… Learning grammar is fun, but practicing it is a torture… However, I really need to do it for JLPT exam.

I think it’s depend on what is your goal in using Wanikani or learning a language. If you feel like it too much for you and you can’t justified it. Probably, it’s time to reduce the amount of work you put in and relax a bit.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Consistency is the most important, you need to find the right pacing. Only you who can decide that.


Slow your horse power. Then if you want to go faster but accelarate slowly.


I get rid of expectations, stop measuring progress and just do the tests every day.

I don’t have an expectation my teeth will ever stop needing brushing either.


Last week I had ca.590 reviews piled up after a short break. I tackled that throughout the week in batches, the last one a few hours ago. Don’t feel stressed just because you hit a wall, slow and steady works for me. It’s something I do to better myself, not a race.

150 reviews in one sitting is quite a lot. I personnally feel I’m burning out when I do more than 50 in a row.
When I have a lot of reviews, I usually do the apprentices right away, and I space out the other reviews, I do like 20-30 reviews every hour.

As others said, you can do a bit less lesson per day too. It’s better to lower your pace now when you still have the motivation to keep going than to keep at an unsustainable speed and totally stop for a month (and going back to thousands of reviews later on)

It happened me a couple of times that I have been a little sick and I didn’t able to do my daily amount for a couple of days and piled up to 500. What I did the first run is to do until I either mentally tired or make 5 mistakes. The second method was that I set a half hour timer and do as much as I can until the time runs out. Doing this way it was quite manageable for me.
Also you can slow down your pile of review by not learning anything new, then in a week you should able to manage. Usually the apprentice items which could pile up.
As other said it depends on your goal. Personally I do 20 lessons a day and only ten if I reach the Kanjis in any level. If your accuracy is not good consider learning less, because errors also stockpile your review count.
I hope you deal with it. Remember if you feel it’s a lot, then break it for 3-4 chunks and it’ll be good. Good luck.

These are the bloody worst.

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Had bouts of ‘ugh, no more’ from about level 35 onwards. Sometimes a brief flash, sometimes a few days or even an entire week where it felt like slogging.
Lowering the review load definitely helps (by ceasing lessons for a bit), but also try to remember why you are doing this - and what helped for me was realizing that I actually liked doing reviews, I just didn’t like to get stuff wrong :slight_smile: )
Adjust your expectations (this can be hard, but is worthwhile in the longer run!) to what you find you can manage, and make sure to get plenty exposure outside WK, so you’re reminded of your results and progress more often.
… and perhaps strangely enough - whenever you see someone on the forum struggling, encourage them. For some reason that encouragement works both ways.
You can do this! (wait… now this sounds selfish?)


Nahh, I’ve read a discussion about this topic in a Zen philosophy book before.

If you are helping someone never think it as helping them or do something for them. You are just helping to satify yourself and that is enough. The moment you think you are doing something for someone is the moment that you expect something in return, and that is not a good deed any more.

Something like that, may be my English is not decent enough to convey this philosophical complex massage. :thinking:

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Haha I actually complain about it on the forums here and push through. I also make a study log post.

Helps me though.


I pause lessons for a little bit and just work on reviewing and leech squashing until I feel enthusiastic to learn new stuff again ! :slight_smile:
I took an unexpected 2 weeks break recently and came back to 900 + reviews. I’ve been doing about 100 a day and will do more if I feel like it, but not pressuring myself in any way to go fast. A lot of stuff is going back to apprentice, which allows me to work on shaky items and start them from almost zero !
Good luck

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I’ve been going through a major bout of burnout and so far I’ve done the following:

  1. I stopped adding new lessons for about two weeks - this has now significantly lessened my daily review load.
  2. When I started doing lessons again, I cut down my new per day to 10. Like this I haven’t seen the same build up in reviews.

Tbh, it a times feels like I’m crawling now since before I was moving at 7-9 days a level but I just keep reminding myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint and on the bright side, I no longer dread opening up Wani Kani which is preferable to me hating clicking on the app.


almost 6 months straight and never felt this so far

I actually now on level 20 I got motivated to start grammar because I felt the “connection points” in sentences is my weak spot and I have difficulty in reading and understanding nhk easy news articles several times, the details I mean.

My expectations were killing me. Until I missed a complete day doing lessons and reviews.
Since then I’m taking it slow. haven’t done new lessons (too much), and am now working on getting my apprentice down to 150 (now over 200)
Although, I just leveled up, and it’s killing me to have so many new lessons.

But: I am also burn-out in real life (with depression), so WK is hard for me anyway.

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I’d say one way would be to slow down a bit. It gives you breathing room and you can kind of relax. Perhaps stop doing lessons for a while and just continue to do your reviews. It’s completely normal to feel burned out sometimes. You will be all right. :blush:

Despite your depression, I’d say you’re doing really well! I hope you feel better soon Elfeera. <3

My first advice is to not rush things too fast. I rushed straight to 60 and almost immediately after I completely burned out of everything Japanese for several years. I still thankfully kept a lot of the knowledge I had, but there was also a lot that I forgot too and it took me many months to recover back to where I was before. I’d say take it slow if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t push yourself too hard, and remember it’s ok to take breaks. I learned the hard way but now that I have learned that lesson my studies are going much better than they ever were before.


I do both of these at all times to prevent burn out. Logging into a 200+ review session is brutal.

I space lessons by priority to progression, that way I can take it easy and not lose any speed. When I first level. I do lessons until all radicals are unlocked then stop. Once I get to the 3rd bar, I go back and do the kanji lessons. That gives me a chance to focus on the radicals, then the first batch of kanji. Once the radicals hit guru, I’m usually pretty comfortable with the first set of kanji, and can now focus on the remaining kanji. Once they hit the 4th bar, I do all the vocab lessons. That let’s me level at max speed while still being able to focus on each group as much as possible.

That said, if there’s a kanji or two that look like something out of a Rorschach test, then it will slow me down a beat or two. Otherwise this is cruise control for focused studying without sacrificing speed