Since your goal is reading, I’d probably recommend spending some time each week doing exactly that, in particular there was a book club for しろくまカフェ Vol 1: Absolute Beginner Book Club, and reading through the weekly threads as you read can really help you get a strong understanding of the grammar you’re seeing, and also cross reference that grammar with the other resources you have access to. There’s also よつばと! Reading club which would be a slightly more advanced book club (beginner rather than absolute beginner). Book club thread remain open for a long time, so if you have questions not already answered in the threads you should post them there, even if the club happened a few years ago. I found the book clubs an incredibly useful resource, both last time I was trying to do WaniKani and currently (I also recently reset to level 1 from the late teens).
I’d recommend setting a weekly or daily time goal for how long to spend reading, rather than going by page count. If you’re someone who can schedule blocks of time on your calendar and stick to it I’d do that, but try to be realistic with how much time you want to commit.
For WaniKani itself, I’d recommend reading through My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 ) - #2 by jprspereira even if you’ve read it before, and thinking about the SRS intervals and your schedule. If you’re doing lessons after work, that probably lets you do the first 4hr interval reviews on time, but it means that the bulk of your reviews will be in the morning. If you have spare time between waking up and work or a commute you can do reviews during, that might work, but it depends on how long reviews take you to do. The other potential schedule is doing lessons before work. This would work best if you have a break at work where you can do the 4hr interval reviews, and would lead to the bulk of review happening in the afternoon/evening.
To avoid burnout, you shouldn’t go full speed (I am not taking my own advice here, I admit), and probably want to do a fixed number of lessons per day. Try starting with fewer lessons than you think you can handle, speeding up is probably easier than trying to slow down and reduce the number of reviews. Stop lessons and just do reviews when you’re feeling overwhelmed, if the reviews still feel like too much after a week of no lessons, try turning on vacation mode. I’d recommend trying to keep doing some reading even then, because it can help keep you motivated and remind you why you want to learn Japanese.
For your non WK resources, I’d mostly use them to supplement the book club learning. Look up grammar points you discover while reading, and if it’s something in Genki you can do some corresponding workbook exercises if you’d like. I have no familiarity with Japanese POD 101, but I find podcasts in general great for background while doing home chores like cooking and cleaning.
Doing actual reading will also help you figure out where you want to focus your attention, whether you feel like you need a stronger grammar foundation or better vocabulary.
A summary of what I’ve said is:
- Use the book clubs, find two 1hr blocks a week that you can spend reading a manga, making heavy use of the threads to really understand what you’re reading.
- Figure out when you should do lessons such that you can do the 4hr reviews on time and get the bulk of the reviews at a time where you can focus on them. Do a small number of lessons per day to start.
If you feel bored at the start with WK, do more reading instead of more lessons. It’s easy to change how much time you’re spending reading, but if you do too many lessons, that will have a longer lasting effect on your later workload.