Progress burnout


I’ve been using WaniKani for a few years and it’s been great. However when I looked at my progress I noticed that every few levels I burnout or at least stop doing my reviews on a regular basis.

I don’t know if it’s my motivation or just the high amount of reviews piling up after going really fast the few levels before. Would appreciate some tips from people who have had a similar problem.


I think you’re doing fine. I take breaks as needed. Maybe ask yourself why you are studying Japanese? Then try to do that thing to stay motivated. The brain likes to have a good reason for the amount of power it takes to learn something like this.

Good luck!


While I don’t know you, what I think is true for everyone is that you need to balance doing WK with everything else going on in your life, which also includes resting and having fun.

Make sure you don’t do all lessons at once from now on. Only do as many as you feel you can manage. I notice you’re lifetime, so you don’t have to rush this process.

Think more long-term and check in with yourself about how you feel about doing X number of reviews on a single day. Everyone has their own limit and you probably know yours by now. Make sure you don’t go beyond this number! Keep is steadily below.

By controlling how fast you do lessons, you’ll avoid getting too many reviews and probably avoid burn out. Allow yourself to take a breather and focus more on making the process fun.

You can make it! Good luck!



I’ve restarted 3 times, and the farthest I’ve got is level 6. I couldn’t bring myself to learn any of the new items in that level the first time. After a few months I restarted again and I was still so burnt out the that I only made it to level 3. I’m on my third try now, and I’ve gotten farther than I ever have. I don’t know exactly what you do, so I’m gonna project a bit. This is what I changed:

  1. Stop cheating (idk if you are, probably not). I used to cheat a lot with user scripts (sorry Koichi), I considered removing the temptation outright but decided not to. I decided I was going to purely use those scripts to mark items as wrong if WK was too forigiving, or retype if I had an egregious typo. Stopping the cheating helped me greatly, once you start cheating you’re bound to feel stuck lest all your progress be erased by items going back down to guru/apprentice.

  2. Take days off. I realize that this is what you’re struggling with right now, but let me explain. Sometimes the workload you think that you can manage, and the workload that you can actually manage are wildly different. Do what you can to meter your workload to one that is appropriate for the amount of timne and energy you have, and stick to it. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed take a small break, not long enough to completely ruin your SRS timings. I found if I push myself too hard I’ll just stop indefinetly, so taking a day long break helps me return to a calm with WK.

  3. Have an external motivator. In my previous runs I had no other reason for doing WK other than the fact that I wanted to learn Japanese. I obviously still do, but I found that having tasks/goals that rely on kanji knowledge helps greatly. For instance I’m currently slowly reading through よつばと!, and despite the fact I have to slowly break down each individual page, knowing that my progression in WK will help my reading speeds is a great motivator. In addition to reading, I’m currently working my way through Genki 1. Knowing that my study is going to be greatly affected by my knowledge of kanji also helps drive me to get the work done.

I have no clue if any of these tips will be of use to you, but this is what I had to do. I’m a big proponent of starting over in WK, but if people decide not to I totally understand. At the end of the day it comes down to why you want to do this. If you have a reason that feels good and strong, you’ll be just fine.

Good luck!


Thanks for sharing.

I had a thought that maybe people can lose motivation because their video game level in WK hasn’t gone up like they thought it would. WK level isn’t worth much. You can easily get to 60 and have no real Japanese ability. Sure it’s fun to level up, I like it too. But don’t let that number injure you on your journey.


for me now almost at the finish line I am going slow to not burnout myself

I prefer doing only 5 lessons everyday than waiting to apprentice to go down below 80 and doing 20 lessons altogether, it is too many items to remember them in the next few hours.


I should probably start doing that as well. I usually tried doing all the radicals and some kanji at once when levelling up thinking it would be the most efficient. Then I would forget most of them within the hour making the reviews a pain.


Slow and steady wins the race. Set yourself a minimum amount of reviews to do daily for instance, and if you don’t have enough reviews do new lessons to complete instead.

You can always do more, but I think setting a minimum every day is important. Also you probably want to do too much more because as you noticed, this means reviews will then pile up fast.


i’ve been at WK for about 2.5 years now, with some really long levels. the big issue for me is (mental) health. when i’m doing well i have no problem maintaining a decent rate of lessons and reviews (at current rate i’d be finished in about a year). but when life gets busier, and even more so if my health takes a dive, it’s just not possible for me to maintain that effort.

what’s been working for me:

  • trying to do at least some work every day.
  • using a re-order script to sort by SRS level. that mitigates the damage from days where i’m not able to do all my reviews. 2 days delay makes a big difference for my ability to recall apprentice items. it makes almost zero difference for recalling master or enlightened items.
  • when i’ve had a long timeout (several months), i’ve reset the last few weeks from before the break (that is, i’ve reset 2-3 levels). my reasoning being that i’ve almost certainly forgotten those items, because there just wasn’t enough time to properly learn them. i don’t think it’s actually necessary, but otherwise i end up with very large piles of apprentice items all at once, which isn’t helpful.

beyond these practical tips, i need to remember why i’m doing this. for me this might mean spending some time reading a new manga, or watching an anime i love without subtitles, or learning more about things which interest me in japan. you’ve already put a few years of work into learning japanese, so you’ve probably got a pretty solid reason for doing so as well.


I will give some guide. All that matters, is personal progress is more important that WaniKani level.

  1. Diversify activities. WaniKani and SRS in general can become easier with listening and production alongside. But that doesn’t mean you need to stop reading and doing WaniKani. Slow down, maybe.

  2. Start cheating. Don’t trust the SRS system too much, and in some ways, progressing is more important than being buried in leeches. I find studying vocabularies rather than Kanji (e.g. one way is to cheat on new Kanji) and go from EN => JP, to help. Listening quiz (Self-Study Quiz) may also be helpful, but no need to wait for perfecting Kanji and radicals first.

  3. Slow down / stop WaniKani. Or transition from using WaniKani alone for Kanji. Around level 45 or something, WaniKani vocabularies stop being enough for Kanji. Mnemonics stopped helping a long while ago. Nonetheless, it is still both of WaniKani doesn’t teach enough Kanji in detail, and you don’t need to learn that many Kanji ahead, to start reading and gaining more Kanji. But when to tone down, is your choice.


Instead of stopping all together, stop doing lessons for a month or two. Just do reviews, eventually they will get fewer and fewer as you clear items and work out some leeches, then it become less of a drag. You will eventually get to a point where the reviews dont feel so bad as the amount has decrease and you will want to start adding lessons again.


i have a rule that i must complete all of the reviews every day. I’m a vegan so i have rules about what i can and cant eat. The motivation for me seems to be that its really important to stick to my self imposed rules. That helps me with Veganism and Wanikani but maybe causes problems in other areas of my life when i am perhaps too inflexible about certain things.