I finally subscribed! and wondering how not to burn out

that’s why i like to do my reviews in groups of 10. It’s a short burst of time to focus. Then when i’m done 10 and i’m still feeling it…i do another 10. If my accuracy sucks…i let my brain do what it wants…then try to come back for another 10. I can get through a lot of reviews in 10 bite increments…


As to advice about how to get there without burning out?
I think making it a daily habit is key. But with that…you have to start slow and find your particular sweet spot. By this I mean…you need to start slow, even painfully slow. But make sure you clear your reviews twice a day. You can let your lessons pile up…but not reviews. If you are easily and comfortably clearing your reviews and are bored…do some lessons…but easy does it…keep increasing the amount of lessons per day until you hit a groove where you can easily clear your review pile twice per day. If you get overwhelmed, (and you might when the burn reviews start coming hard and heavy) stop lessons and only focus on reviews until you feel in control again. (With this I would add that if your clearing your reviews but your accuracy is dropping below 85% you also need to pause lessons until your accuracy comes back up or apprentice items will start to accumulate)
It may seem counterintuitive to say the way to avoid burning out is to come here everyday twice per day…but I’m also saying to keep those sessions at a level of time that is reasonable for you.
Wanikani is very much like a marathon…and you wouldn’t train for a marathon by going too hard too fast right out the gate and then randomly training here and there and stopping your training when life gets in the way. You have to have a plan of attack and find a way to make the training fit in with life because life keeps happening. I mean, you can decide not to train sure…but then accept that you won’t finish the marathon doing that. If it means that much to you, make it a priority. I don’t mean quit your job to just do Wanikani…I just mean, find the time to show up everyday and do the work and you WILL find you have mastered 2000 kanji/6000 vocab.
Now I’m not a monster, If life is really kicking the crap out of you and you can’t focus well self care is important too…but if you must take a short break…please…I beg you…put your account in vacation status so that you don’t undo all of your hard work by coming back to an insurmountable pile of reviews…you just want to be able to pop it back into gear and get going where you left off…good luck.


thank you so much!! will try them asap :blush:

Thanks a lot for this detailed reply :blush:
yes i really plan on making it an habit and use wk at least twice a day :slight_smile:
I will take my time and train for this marathon, i’m ready :muscle:
Thanks again and good luck to you too for the few remaining level you have before level 60 :smiling_face:


I, too, subscribed. But that was years ago and I quickly burned out with all of the reviews piling on each other. I decided to return and to finally give it a real chance. One way I’m going to do this is to:

  • Set aside 2 specific periods during the day
  • Work furiously and conscientiously on my reviews during those 2 periods.
  • If I’m not done within my scheduled period time limit, I simply walk away
  • Continue during the next period.
    I hope I have the discipline to stick to this plan.

yeah…bit of a loquacious fox. sorry. synopsis. Show up, find your groove, win.
You are absolutely right by saying lots of other people have done it. It’s just a matter of effort and time and you will get there too.

Burn-out is definitely something I have to take care to avoid, having burnt out hard on more than a few occasions in my life previously. There were a couple of times on WaniKani where I was facing potential burn-out, and in each case it was from going too fast, and the solution was to take a break from WK and then slow down my pace when I came back.

The first time, I was able to slog my way through the huge pile of reviews that had built up during my break (this build-up can be avoided by using Vacation Mode, apparently, but I never used that; don’t really know why not). Slogging through was tough going, but I did manage to do it.

Then around the time of Covid I was getting stressed out and needed to take another break for my sanity. By the time I came back, I had a huge mountain of reviews and was in no mood to slog slog slog again. I solved the review pile-up this time by resetting, and wrote a little post about how I came to that decision, and how it felt (good!), to hopefully help others facing the same/similar decision: After a long absence, I reset (to level 7), and I’m glad I did

At that point, I realized that even after slowing down the first time I took a break, I was still going too fast, i.e. my pace was ‘unsustainable’, which I think is a good word for thinking about it. So, I decided to really slow right right down, because it was important to me that I be able to enjoy learning Japanese over the long run, so that I could keep going at it steadily and indefinitely without needing to take mental-health breaks. Because, ultimately, my goal is to actually learn Japanese – not just to rush to get to ‘Level 60’, which was really just an artificial goal I had been imposing on myself.

At that time I came across this post, which is oriented towards people like me who want to take a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ pace, and enjoy the journey along the way: :durtle_hello: Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route :turtle:. I periodically check in on that thread, and sometimes post little tidbits of ideas about how I personally have adapted the way I use WK to be more sustainable and enjoyable. If you’d like to avoid burn-out, it’s probably worth checking out. :blush:

I’ve been Durtling along since then, smelling the flowers and enjoying the scenery along the way
:rainbow: :butterfly: :cherry_blossom: :turtle: . . .

… and Burn Out has left the chat! Said “brb” but I haven’t heard from it since! :sweat_smile:

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Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to mention is that when I first subscribed to WK I knew (from past personal experience in general) that I might need to take breaks here and there, and I didn’t want to worry about ‘using my time/money efficiently’, which is something I’ve tended to worry about in general; so I decided to go straight for the Lifetime subscription right away. I’m glad I did, because it made all those decisions – to take breaks, to slow down, to Durtle the Scenic Route, etc. – much easier for me to make!

Probably this isn’t an issue for everyone, but for me it was, so if you have an inkling it might be an issue for making decisions that might risk leading to a path toward burn-out, you might want to consider upgrading to the lifetime subscription.

Personally, I strategically waited for their annual December discount, which is now a bit of a ways off in the future; but even without the discount it’s a pretty reasonable price (IMO). Also, they seem to be very flexible with upgrading from monthly/yearly subscriptions and pro-rating the price so you don’t feel like you wasted anything. Just contact them by email to find out.

Just an idea! :sweat_smile:

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Yes so I only realised this recently, but the content from the free WK is a lot less underwhelming in the sense that there is less.

So levels 1-3 only has like 70 vocab per level, once you reach level 4 the vocab per level is 110+.

So my suggestion would be, to re-evaluate your pacing. What worked from levels 1-3 will probably change now because of the increased lessons.

But I think you’ve got this :slight_smile:

you don’t have to be sory you’ve been really helpfull :blush:

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Thank you for all of these advices! I need mental health break very often but i hope to build a strong habit to go on wk everyday even if im in one of those breaks, hopefully i’ll keep at it because Japanese is really important to me!
but i will take my time :blush: as someone said, it’s like a marathon and you need to train and pace yourself a lot to get to the finish line. I don’t aim to get level 60 just yet, I’ll be happy if i can reach lvl 30 in a first time.
I will check on this Durtle method thanks again!

I was planning on do that if I manage to get some incomes by december! I’m kind of short on money right now lol (the monthly sub is quite a big investment or me) but it might change by then


Yeah i looked at the content from other level and there is way much more than in the free level, but id doesn’t scare me, i’ll go with my own pace and al the tips i’ve received! Thank you :blush: I think you got this too, let’s do our best!


Aside from the usual suspects like not rushing, keeping apprentices low, not sweating over mistakes, I also suggest supplementing with as much immersion as possible. By doing so, you make WK just one of your resources and that makes it so you keep progressing at a consistent level, when you do little by little.
I supplement with native speaker lessons (#1 recommendation because it’ll let you practice speaking and ask questions about grammar and stuff WK does not explains), reading, and watching Japanese content and studying grammar through textbook or other resource.
As others pointed out, there are some amazing scripts and I run A LOT of them myself.


Welcome back :D

The real answer is that burning out doesn’t matter. You just gotta make yourself do it every day no matter how you feel about it. I’ll try to be more helpful and say for me that it’s easier the earlier in the day I do it. I would also suggest not doing any more than like 20 lessons a day, less if you plan on going through a textbook or something simultaneously.

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Welcome back. Burning out can and will happen. The main thing is pacing. Set a max for new items to learned daily depending on your mood. For example, I will do 10 lessons on a normal day, 15 on a day where I feel I can do a little more, and 0 or 5 if I dont have the mental energy to do so. Burning out is a natural part of the process but you don’t have to be all or nothing, getting whatever practice you can is good practice. Some days I just do my reviews for the day and call it. Wanikani is only a supplement.


Study ahead all you like, but don’t put them all in the hopper. Reading is the ultimate SRS, but if you’re bogged down with reviews, you won’t have much time to read.

Play the long game to avoid burnout. Expect about two years of consistent work, about 10-14 days per level.

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Love @WaniTsunami 's advice. I do 5 lessons every night before sleeping. I have a review pile of between 30 and 50 every day which I get through mostly in the evening. I get through a level in 30 days or so. 5 years of Wanikani is what I’m looking at. And my wife and kids don’t suffer!


you do lessons regardless the amount of apprentice levels?

I always look at it first to keep below 90, and I still have 160 reviews a day. Usually I spend days without any lesson because they are over 90. My lvl up average now is 32 days. A long time ago it was 12 days.

general rule of thumb is to find your comfort level of apprentice items. thats pretty much it. when you find your comfroting pace at 5/10/15/20+ new items a day just stick with it and if it surpasses apprentice limit just slow the speed.

I started to feel burn out when i reached 180-200 apprentice levels on wanikani + 400 on torii.srs. I spent like on average 2-3 hours a day on these programs in past 11 months. Managed to learn get acquintated with 5500 words but i can feel how my desire to speed through slowly messing with me. for no reason i have this stupid notion that i need to learn all common kanjis before actually starting grammar and immersion thus the need to speed which completley eliminates all joy in learning process.

was close to give up, but decided to cut apprentice items by half and now im finally can continue my progress just with a more reasonable pace.

out of all usseful tools for your wanikani journey i think the best ones are

  1. browser extension- yomichan - it helps tremendously with deciphering context sentence even if you have 0 knowledge of grammar.
  2. wanikani reorder script which allows you to immediately learn new kanji and radicals on a new level

I’m following some advice I saw in a thread like this and doing approximately 3 kanji lessons and 9 vocabulary lessons a day (and when there are radical lessons I do them all; at the level I’m at now they’re not really a big deal). I’m loving this pace! Not too slow, not too fast, and I’m starting on the next level’s kanji while I’m working on the last level’s vocabulary. So it feels like an ideal workflow, so far!