To all high-level users, did you get demotivated at some point and when?

It comes and goes

Not at all. All vocab lessons were done as soon as they were available, I’ve never had any sort of reorder script installed. Here’s my graph:


It appears that my accuracy dropped a bit recently, at least that’s what I’d guess from the number of apprentice and guru items, which hasn’t dropped quite as sharply as I’d have liked them to. Apprentice and guru items make for a big number of reviews in a short time, so that’s means I’ll have to get better. 😶‍🌫️

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Level 37 and I have never stopped doing reviews (except maybe for a day or so, but then I caught up the next day).

I did stop doing lessons for about a month or so twice, though, when I felt that there were just too many active items and I needed some time to process them instead of overloading my brain with new stuff.

As for Genki, which I’m still working my way through, yeah, I’ve had weeks where I wouldn’t look at it, but now I picked it up again (currently in the third or fourth or so chapter of Genki 2).

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so far not at all!

well, I took 10 years to go back to japanese studies so all my demotivation stood in the past :sweat_smile:

I wish I had more time to go into immersion, basically just doing wk and bunpro reviews everyday, I have a little time to watch some tv show or movie and play videogames 40min to 1h and…time to sleep again for next day

I’m not high level, but I have been doing WK for over a year, and for about 10 months extremely consistently. I feel like the main sources of demotivation are likely to come from outside stressors and not WK itself, though if your WK workload is too intense, it can exacerbate stress, which can lead to burnout.

For me personally, the hardest level so far was probably 23, but it’s impossible for me to say how much of that was the level objectively being more difficult, and how much of it was outside factors in my life adding substantial stress that made it more difficult for me to study. I did manage to get through it, though, and I’ve been able to press onward.

Things like that are why I tend to heavily recommend that people pace themselves and plan their daily workload around what they can complete on a bad day, not when you’re at your best. If your WK workload is very consistent and is a slower pace than you’re able to do when running at maximum efficiency, you’ll be able to keep going even through the bad days, and come out of those periods without losing steam or feeling burned out.

I think it’s probably a good idea, also, to prepare for “life after WK” before you reach level 60. Plenty of people are perfectly happy with leaving SRS behind after level 60, but if you plan on using Anki (or Kitsun, or etc.) to learn additional kanji/vocab, I think it helps to get into the habit of using it before your WK study starts tapering off. Otherwise, it’s easy to see finishing WK as the end point of your studying, which might meet some people’s Japanese goals, but for many people, won’t leave you at the level of fluency you were hoping for.

I think humans in general tend to do better with forming consistent habits, and with slowly transitioning from old habits into new ones instead of stopping something very suddenly and trying to switch to something else (like reaching level 60 in WK and immediately trying to pivot to Anki). If you make Japanese study a regular, daily habit and find ways to keep it sustainable for you, that’ll help you avoid getting demotivated, and if you introduce new resources/tools gradually, that’ll help you adjust to them.

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…which I’m sure you’ll be able to :slight_smile:

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My completionist drive pushed me too hard, to the point where I had to force myself to take a break in doing lessons around level 40. That lasted like 2 weeks after which I went full speed again until I got to level 60. After that I kind of crashed for a few months, but I have picked it back up again and have already burned all of the old material. Now to burn all the new material before new new material is added.

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Ah, accuracy is of course very important to keep those apprentice items under control. I didn’t consider it, as my own accuracy remained pretty much the same throughout.

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Could not have summarized it better

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I’m currently lv 22 (not very high i know). Your motivation totally depends on your goals and your life besides WK. For me learning japanese is a long term objective anyway. So i’m one of the slow working students here. Netherless i was constantly doing my reviews until last december. At this time i lost some motivation to do anything because i wanna go to japan for more than 5 months and booked a language course already. But it gets canceled over and over again and thats why my motivation droped when the government decided to close the border rigth after opening it for 2 -3 weeks. Just frustrating. It was yesterday when i started to work on my pile of reviews >_< But now im ready again and i will continue until i reach the end. As someone else here already said. Its not WK what holds you back because this system is just enjoyable and rewarding all the time. Its always life

In my impression you can become demotivated only if you are setting yourself up in a way that can be demotivated. Like trying to be fast or thinking you have to proof something to others or yourself etc.

I am reading an interesting book written by a Buddhist monk at the moment and he says the best way of doing anything is to not to think about it and just doing it. I think that works really well. Not thinking about what you will do after level 60, not thinking about how fast others are, not thinking about how good or bad you are and what others might have always thought about you or might think about you in case, well you know. Just do it. You performance will be better that way and it keeps being a very satisfying experience, in every level and also afterwards.

そのようにただ「仕事をする。無心になって働く」という心が空っぽの状態、「空」の状態が維持できれば、このうえない充実感を味わえるとともに、仕事へのモチベーションを絶えず維持することが可能になります。

Ryunosuke Koike, “Mo Okoranai”

In the beginning I felt stress when I read stories about people who tried to finish WaniKani really fast.
I don’t think it is a mindset that allows for good learning, and also the “goal” of WaniKani is not something that can be extended, is is a fixed value, so every person who wants to be best has to get closer to a already predefined amount of time and a competition without open end is in a way, sorry to say it like this, stupid. :sweat_smile:
Or at least it is not very wise.
You have to either cheat or sacrifice your sleep or both.

Imagine the Olympics with competitions whit a fixed possible end result! Maybe I would watch it in this case because it would be so absurd.

No you don’t. You just have do do your all your reviews everyday and do all lessons as soon as they come in. It’s that simple. Not necessarily easy…but simple. People shouldn’t have to do it if they don’t want to but why make it sound like the people who do go fast have something to prove.
I think what this thread is sort of highlighting is that the people who really enjoy the SRS system and see it as a stress RELIEVER don’t feel any pressure from the program and therefore are less likely to burnout. If something relieves your stress you will go to it more often and therefore progress faster. If you see it as stressful, you will avoid it and therefore progress more slowly. It’s a matter of perspective, not sleep deprivation.

Sorry, I had to:

I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly, though :slight_smile:

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I think we have the same view of things, but you overlooked that I did not mean “going fast” but trying to be “the fastest”.
That’s a big difference, because if you, as you say, handle it as a stress relief, you are fast automatically.
I am currently at 7 days, sometimes 8, between levelling up and that’s fast I think.

But trying to be the FASTEST you can only achieve by setting an alarm, and that’s, I think personally, not a good idea. Also most of the people who try to do that seem to use scripts and I feel that is in the long run not beneficial for the learning aspect, but I might be wrong. I somehow don’t like the idea of scripts so I cannot talk out of experience about it, it is just a feeling.

Personally I think with a bit of dedication 7 days is not very impossible, but the difference between 7 days and 6 days and some hours is a massive change in your lifestyle and I don’t see any benefit in doing it.

And I understand that what I wrote initially was not so clear about that, but I was thinking one step ahead and that is I think the gamification aspect of WaniKani has a flaw here. In a way it makes people compare how fast they are, but there is not a lot to feel satisfied about psychologically in this game if you are not able to produce a healthy mindset by yourself.

Agree. I don’t think they are necessary but get that people think they are fun so to each his own. Ok. Sorry if I misunderstood you. Yes, to beat the record I would definitely have to set an alarm multiple times a night but that isn’t my goal. I just find this site is super willing to tell people that it’s ok to do this slow but not so supportive if you happen to do it fast when really a level a week is the program pace if you’re zero zero everyday

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The thing is you can’t beat the record :joy:
I think they should somehow really rethink that aspect.
Like eg there could be a personal score system that incorporates all kind of factors like how many days streak you have, etc. I don’t think this is really necessary for me, but in my impression a lot of frustration in WaniKani users arise from the fact that there is either “doing it fastest” or feeling a bit lost.

Duolingo works much better in that aspect I think. The points and leagues are very childish, but I have to admit it makes me happy a bit to accumulate points. However silly this may be :sweat_smile:

But having to do my best for the next one and a half year to be “fast” or not is super tough from WaniKani from a gamification point of view.

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Definitely. It was somewhere between level 30 and 35. The vocab / kanji just wasn’t sticking as well as compared to the lower levels. My review percentages showed this well.

I only got past that point from sheer determination. I knew 100% that if I quit, I would be disappointed in myself and beat myself up for it. I would probably end up back here on Wanikani in a few years so I just powered through it.