Need help creating a study plan

Hello dear cult of the crabigator,

I need some help on creating a study plan without actually burn out.
I’ve reset my WK level now for the second time to start all the way from scratch. (Hopefully I’ve retained some kanji to make the next 17 levels easier :innocent:)

In my past experiences of learning Japanese I would get really excited about the language, study it like almost religiously; which ofcourse leads to being burned out of the language, giving up and starting over.

My current life is pretty busy.

I work as a tool and die maker from 7.30 to 16.30
Have school on fridays (CNC Machining)
And each thursday bandpractice
On top of that, you know, life. (cooking, cleaning and such)

Life was easier when I lived at home :pensive:

Anyone have any ideas how to fit more studying in here?

I have some problems wording this thread since english is my third language.

For the study resources I have acces to:
Genki I + II (workbooks are on the way. I tried without but appearently they are very usefull)
Kanji in context
WK (obviously)
Japanese POD 101
Tae Kim’s Grammar guide
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
and because I went out of my for some next level stuff the complete Kanzen Master N3

What I am interested in is seeing how other people fit a studying schedule into their lives. I have a habit of doing everything at the same time :man_facepalming:

My main goal wouldn’t be speaking neccisarily at the moment, but more reading.

I had an obsession of buyin manga in the past, which I really like to start reading.

My collection consists of:

  • しろくまカフェ
  • よつばと!
  • ロックマン
  • ロックマンエグゼ
  • ゼルダの伝説時のオカリナ
  • ゼルダの伝説ムジュラの仮面
  • ドラゴンボール
  • ドラゴンボールスーパー
  • dead tube
  • おやすみプンプン
  • まいちゃんの日常

I hope someone can help me figure out a schedule :grin:
Thanks in advance

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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.


Thanks so much for the indepth reply.
My commute to work is like a 2 minute bike ride so cant really study there :sweat_smile:

I’ve seen the book clubs, never really participated in there; I should give it a try.

Japanese POD 101 helps to learn listening to everyday Japanese situations rather than those ‘robotic’ excercises that come with text books.

I’ll try to go slow I guess :smiley: , どうもありがとうございました

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Good luck! Not much you can do with that commute, but at least it’s short. Going slow with WaniKani is definitely frustrating at the start, but definitely important if you have limited time and are worried about burnout. It takes around 6 months to reach a full WK workload (when the burn reviews start). I really can’t recommend the book clubs enough, especially if reading is a major goal for you. It also gives you something to do instead of increasing the lessons you’re doing. Here’s the full list of book clubs by the way, I didn’t see any others for the manga you already have, but I might have missed some: Master List of Book Clubs

Thanks so much for linking the master list.
I’ve been eyeing チーズスイートホーム for a while, and since it’s on there ill be getting it now.
Thanks for everything

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one minor and may silly suggestion (as someone that’s been studying for 3 years now)… there will be periods of burnout no matter what.

found that just taking a couple of weeks and slowing down a lot…really helps…still doing a tiny amount every day, reviews ALWAYS, and maybe it’s just one sentence or one tv show…but after 2 or 3weeks usually feel refreshed and can do much more again. (vacations aren’t just for work) just don’t forget to keep up with reviews.


Reviews were mostly the first to go/get neglected… I’ll have to change that :sweat_smile:

Btw, I have used vacation mode a few times, but I don’t recall being still able to do reviews? Did they change that?

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definitely don’t skip reviews… if you have android there is a great app flaming durtles (lets you do reviews offline - no internet required)… if you are going camping or whatnot… (when you get back to an internet connection will resync - works well)

as far as vacation mode…it stops wk so you can really get a vacation…since you reset and at level 1…could turn it on and try it for a day and confirm…but should shut down everything…when you turn it back on then it dribbles the reviews back in over 24 hours and you’re back where you were

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