Least stressful way of getting through a backlog a reviews

Occasionally my reviews get backed up (mainly from work). I’m a very impatient person so I get extremely stressed out when I’m doing 300-400 reviews at a time and I get 40% of them wrong.

So…I kept a log of my stress levels (out of 10) when doing reviews. I tried many different ways:

  1. Entire 1000+ reviews in one session - 10/10
  2. Split into sessions of doing 500 reviews - 8/10
  3. Go to my favorite tea shop and order a bunch of sugary snacks/drinks while I do my backlog in one sitting - 4/10 (review itself) + 2/10 (getting to the tea house)
  4. Do reviews on my phone while on a star stepper machine at the gym - 8/10 (mainly because it’s much slower using an iPhone keyboard + mobile web)
  5. Always end the day with 100 less reviews than the day before - 4/10 to 8/10 depending on how many new reviews pop up
  6. Sprinkle out many small review sessions doing 25 reviews at a time throughout the day with no hard goal - 2/10

Doing #6 is clearly the least stressful way but that’s only if you don’t have a hard deadline to learn Japanese. Because doing 25 reviews at a time is so easy, sometimes I stay longer and go through 50. Anytime I reduce my total reviews by 100 compared to the day before feels great. I’ve found myself going through 500 reviews overall in the entire day without much stress. I also tend to remember better when doing #6.

Doing #3 seems to be best for reducing stress levels and getting your Japanese learning schedule back on track. Whenever I get a backlog, I do feel a slight endorphin rush from knowing that I have to go to my favorite tea shop to go through these reviews. It does cost money and set my fitness goals back, but it’s great if you have a hard deadline. It’s also great because the act of learning Japanese in a different setting really helps you recall what you’ve learn better.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing #1 or #2, after about doing 400 reviews, I know my brain stopped benefiting from the review process and it’s extremely stressful.


I don’t really have anything to say other then I wholeheartedly agree, but I personally find doing them anywhere where I can focus (like, for example, school) it’s much less stressful (and I get them done faster).

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When I get a big pile I tend to do it in small lots at an agreed upon time. I usually will attach that to some type of activity, like watching something on netflix and between episodes doing 40-50 reviews. It always works really well and just takes that edge off. Sometimes I’ll even do that for smaller piles when I just can’t seem to get the energy to do it … like right now

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At level 35ish I had a three week break for vacation and forgot to turn off vacation mode.
When I came back, I had about 600 reviews.
I was dumb and did them all at the same day as well as new lessons.
Now I’m at level 55 and they’re all coming back.
Instead of doing 3 day level ups, I’m doing 300+ reviews (mostly burns) all day in my 50’s.

I recommend going slow because it will only bite you back in a few months.
You’re only level 27 so there is at least another half year if you plan on going to level 60.
Do the number of reviews that you feel is good for one day and do not look at the remainder of reviews left.
For me, it was 200 reviews and then I would stop. I did 100 in the morning and 100 before bed.

Really, if you’re not used to speed, all this speed leveling and accuracy will just hurt you.
Ignore it if you haven’t already.
I like your 6th option.
Sprinkle small sessions but aim for a soft goal. 8 sessions? 6 sessions?
Don’t forget to review outside of WaniKani too.
Those items that go back to apprentice will come more often but when you have a review pile of 500 it might not come back as often as it should.
I wrote them on a piece of paper and copied lines later in the day when I didn’t have access to the internet.

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