I will admit to being a bad student when it comes to timing. I do reviews when I have time, I do lessons when I have time. My days don’t tend to look the same day to day or even week to week, so while I try to hit the first 4 hour review, I still do lessons even if I know I can’t hit that. The only time I don’t do lessons is if my brain/mind is too tired to take in anything new.
I also have to regularly remind myself that if I do Japanese before certain things, than I sometimes don’t do those things at all. (Studying switches on one part of my brain (thought pattern), and those other things need another part.) So studying Japanese early in the day is typically not a good thing for anything but Japanese, and unfortunately my job is not built around learning Japanese. Awww…
(I also moved from Japan to Sweden in the last two weeks, so most of my reviews are at very odd times right now.)
This system (or non-system) is working for me, at the speed I want to go, so I’m happy enough with it. But I also tend to change how I do things depending on what else is happening in my life. (This usually means that I will mostly be level at a 9-14 day pace and then I’ll have 1-2 month long levels.) I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know myself well and how my mind works, so I use that. For anyone who don’t know what works best for them, all I can say is experiment, and experimenting with more optimized schedules seems like a better idea than my particular ad hoc method.