How to avoid burnout?22?

hello, new-comer here!! i’ve been pretty consistent with japanese learning in this past month and i must say, i’m really enjoying my journey and feel like i’m learning A LOT whilst i use other resources too :3
BUUUUUTTT, there IS something i struggle with, my best friend and lover, burnout. I find myself either way too passionate about learning, or just have no motivation. LUCKILY I MOSTLY FIND MYSELF IN THE FIRST FACTION!!111 >:D but at times i fall into the second. Now, i usually try using other resources when i get bored of one, and always come back to it after let’s say 2-3 weeks - but i want to hear YOUR tips on avoiding burnout.

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i switch up my study methods, which it seems like you do as well by reading your post. i study with a friend (very helpful to have a study buddy to hold accountability!) to break up my usual textbook learning. as well as i watch a lot of Japanese youtube videos because language learning should always have some fun to it.
i’d also say have a routine and stick to it. for example, as soon as i wake up i’m doing my anki flashcards and wanikani reviews. it’s not a heavy workload and it’s accomplishable within the first hour or so of my day so i’m not worried throughout the day about studying. bouncing off workload, don’t overwhelm yourself. for me, i’m working through genki and i do one chapter a week.

i hope i could offer some help in how i approach studying. i wish you the best! burnout sucks but it’s avoidable! :]

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first and foremost rule for me is consistency over motivation. motivation won’t be always there and, in fact, it appears in the process, once you start doing something, not before you start.
WK actually helped me a lot with being consistent. because when i didn’t feel like learning, i still had some reviews to do and hate getting them piled, so at least i was doing it, didn’t feel like i did nothing and feeding my burnout with guilt.
with the time I started adding more “obligatory” small tasks - like reading at least one page at the textbook, watch at least 5 minutes of some video in Japanese. On the days when i feel i want to do more - i do more, and on the days when don’t feel like it - i do this bare minimum.
but also there are still going to be days when you won’t do anything and it’s totally okay, don’t feel bad about it.

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Like it has been written before: Motivation will only get you that far, it will not get you fluent.
Be consistent, whatever that means for you. Some like the consistency of WK, some just read a chapter of anything a day, some play visual novels or read the daily news. Just get into the rhythm of naturally doing something each day, even if it is not much and after a few months, it will usually get into being a habit.

For avoiding burnout:
I personally never do things that tire me out or bore me. If I get bored with something, I just stop and do something else thats fun to me, my habits of consuming japanese media ensures that there always will be something I can find interest in or I really want to be able to do (and therefore strive towards that milestone without hating it).
Our brains like diversity in whatever we do, I just make sure that no matter how diverse my interests are, there is always japanese involved. :slight_smile:

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One thing that just came to my mind - try to make learning something you look forward to every day. Make it into a daily thing like brushing your teeth, but hopefully without the “I have to” part. You’re doing it, because you want to.

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First of all, I just want to say that this sounds very familiar to me – I also struggle with ups and downs of ‘motivation’, and have been for my entire life. It took until roughly age 30 to finally get a hint about what may be the root of this issue, and in my case it turns out that I had undiagnosed ADHD, which i never in a million years would have guessed if someone hadn’t pointed out the possibility to me.

So, I obviously don’t know anything about you, but just from that description I’d like to suggest to you the possibility that maybe you might have an undiagnosed, or maybe untreated, condition such as ADHD or maybe something else. Or, I could be jumping the gun and there’s no such condition. [Note: There are many conditions which also have similar symptoms, and the only way to know for sure is to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional.]

So, you may be interested to check out a couple of threads that are related to mental health (Improving our mental health together :two_hearts:) and specifically ADHD (The ADHD Thread – this one happens to be archived, no longer accepting new comments, but it’s got lots of good info about ADHD anyway).


As for how to avoid burnout in general, I would say that the main thing is pacing, specifically pacing your number of Reviews per week by adjusting how many new Lessons you do. Try to find a level of doing Reviews every day such that you can not only maintain this pace on a good week, where you have lots of motivation and nothing else going on, but so that you can maintain it even on a bad week, when your motivation might be low, and you’ve got other random things that might come up.

If you’re able to find that kind of a consistent, sustainable pace where you can maintain it even in a bad week, then you’ll very likely be able to avoid burnout.

Myself, I even found a thread-group for folks who prefer to take the ‘slow and steady’ route, :durtle_hello: Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route :turtle:. There’s lots of stuff in that thread about how people are pacing themselves. And I’ve even posted some of the little techniques I’ve come up with to avoid burnout as well. It’s an ongoing thread, and anyone can join in, just an unofficial ‘group’.

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Burnout early on is usually a sign you need to change your study routine but never stop.