Using Vacation Mode when overwhelmed

Recently my reviews have been getting past the 200 mark regularly and I’ve started doing a few and then turning on vacation mode so that I don’t get more reviews before I’ve finished the current ones.

Is this wise? Or is it ok to not do all of your reviews in one go?


IMO it’s fine to not do all your reviews in one sitting. That’s what the “Wrap Up” button is for, after all. (In case you haven’t noticed it, it’s the leftmost button under the answer field, with the little clock icon. It makes sure you finish up all the items you’ve reviewed so you don’t lose any work.)

Personally, I wouldn’t use Vacation Mode in this situation. If you stop doing lessons, let everything pile up in your review queue, and get to things when you get to them, your subsequent reviews will naturally spread themselves apart on the calendar anyway.


I do them in batches of 30-40, several times through the day.

Instead of abusing vacation mode, stop doing lessons and just focus on getting your reviews under control. After 2-4 days most of your apprentice items should fall off and you will only be getting guru+ or leeches. Attack the leeches and when you get to a point where you have a decent amount of daily reviews, start doing lessons in small batches


Vacation mode more or less freezes time for the whole system. So if you had something due in a day when turning it on it’ll still need a day to come up for review after turning it off. This is primarily to avoid getting a massive review stack for people leaving for a few days or weeks. However, since this delays items from showing up at the right time users will be less likely to get them correct so it’s a bit of a double edged sword.

It’s fine to do them in batches. If you don’t have enough time to do all of the reviews in a day it’s better to slow down anyway. Fully scheduling all of your time will lead to backlogs when life happens. At level 12 you probably don’t have enlighted → burn reviews yet, so understand it’s only going to get worse for number of reviews in the future. Plan accordingly.


First question, no that is not wise. Second question, you really don’t have to do that!!!

Firstly, vacation mode is really not a good way to manage review volume. You should take control of those numbers by lowering the number of lessons you do. That will decrease the review number /day.

Vacation mode means you’ll increase the amount of time between the SRS intervals, because it really just pauses all your pending reviews. And when you turn vacation mode off, the clock starts ticking again.

Especially in the early SRS-stages that means you’re making it much harder for you to give the correct answers, as those time intervals are pretty short. With vacation mode, you’ve just made them longer.

So, like I said, just decrease your number of lessons and you should get a more manageable number of reviews long-term. Short-term you might wanna stop doing lessons all-together, to quickly decrease the review amount.

And yeah, just do reviews in batches throughout the day. Some people have fixed numbers they do. But, what that number is, is really up to you, be it 20, 50 or 100 in a go.


In case you need another opinion, I’m 100% in agreement with @ekg and I couldn’t say it any better.


Also, with the very-long interval ones, all that stopping and starting of the clock is going to turn a 4-month wait into a long, long time. You’ll never finish.


If you read the Ultimate Guide:

It’s the items guru and below that suffer more since a 1 week break, for example, increases the Apprentice intervals by up to 700% but the Guru 2 interval by only 50%.

For a real vacation, stop lessons 2 weeks before to clear out your apprentice queue before starting vacation mode.

However, doing that without vacation mode but just stopping lessons is also a good way to tackle a big review queue so the point stands. :smiley:


Yes, for a single occurrence. But if you’re stopping the clock for (say, for the sake of numbers) 50% of every day, that’s going to happen a lot of times before the burn reviews come back around. 4 months becomes 8 months.


Don’t feel obligated to do them all in one go! I use wanikani during my deskwarming time at work, which is often interrupted by classes, marking, and whatever else. So often times I have to go back to it throughout the day in order to finish my review stack, which is a-okay imo!

Good luck OP, hang in there! You can do it! :slight_smile:

What should I do if I’m just whelmed?


\ ˈ(h)welm \

whelmed; whelming; whelms

Definition of whelm

transitive verb

1 : to turn (something, such as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect

2 : to overcome in thought or feeling : OVERWHELMwhelmed with a rush of joy— G. A. Wagner

intransitive verb

: to pass or go over something so as to bury or submerge it

Whelm Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

How about taking off that head-plate thingy you’re wearing? :wink:


You mean this tinfoil hat? No way, this protects me against the gazpacho police.


Wise would be just to do them.

You could color it nicely though. Get out those finger-paints you stashed away. This way your reflection won’t scare the birds.

1 Like

I’ve developed something of a vacation mode habit since hitting level 30. Lately I can hardly go a few days without using it to delay my next batch of reviews. Hard to say if it’s a good or bad thing. I’m not sure if I’m using vacation mode so often because I’ve lost motivation, or if I’ve lost motivation because I know I have vacation mode to keep me from falling behind…

You do you bro:


Just know this is coming for you if you keep walking down the path of the crabigator.

This is really not true though. No need for the scare tactics. :eyes:

You only get as many reviews as you’ve done lessons to get. People who end up having 400+ reviews only get them by speeding along their lessons and/or neglecting to do reviews daily, letting them pile up.

If that happens, just don’t do lessons and take a week or two to gradually get rid of the pile.

Of course, having a very low accuracy during reviews can also be problematic.

Under a certain threashold, you’re basically not progressing most items up the SRS-levels, but pushing the items down (as they drop 2 levels when you fail them). You don’t need super-high accuracy, but it’s good to know that if you’re around 60%, that’s problematic.

But, if you’re just steadily doing lessons and reviews, you should never have super-high numbers of reviews to do.


Running the gauntlet at the speed that WaniKani allows can easily pop this type of rage into your review box.

Even during the middle levels this started happening… sometimes bro as you know, things just compile like some kind of super boss, even if your duking it out with the crabigator with 80%+ accuracy rate.

You’re not wrong about the reasons these things can happen for sure… but there are those days… those days of insanity.

@Ichigodolphin Know this rage eventually comes for all who venture this path… temper yourself if you wish to attain Kanji fluency young one, know that you will be fighting for your life many times during your battles with the crabigator.


Wow it’s my first post, this community is really alive isn’t it!

I stopped doing lessons a while ago as my previous approach was to smash all the lessons as soon as they come but we know how that goes.

I was feeling like I have to do all my reviews in one go, so if I don’t and the SRS will sort itself out, then I’ll just do that. I couldn’t understand how people can have a routine with wanikani so now it makes sense. Last summer I married a Japanese woman and adopted her daughter and intend to keep living in Japan for the foreseeable future, so I have a strong incentive to learn!

Thanks everyone. All hail the crabigator.