Whew! Recovering from first Wanikani burn out

Just want to share a mini success story! I’m recovering from my first Wanikani burn out, and Wanikani is actually feeling fun again.

For me, levels 1-10 were a breeze - just fast and fun. My focus was (my) top speed, and I easily took my review queue to 0 twice a day.

Levels 11, 12 got harder, but I pushed myself to keep going at my top speed. The challenge was still fun.

Levels 13, 14 felt like torture. My accuracy started droppings and many words were sliding backwards. I was forgetting things which were easy before. For the first time, I couldn’t empty my review queue daily and started to dread wanikani.

Recovery wasn’t fun, but was straight forward. I stopped doing lessons, but kept doing reviews, as many as I could until I got frustrated, but I didn’t force myself to keep going.

After 10 days without lessons, my apprentice, guru, and master count finally dropped to rational levels (<100, <525, <750). It didn’t feel like torture anymore.

Then, I installed a couple leech user scripts, and started squashing leeches. My reviews dropped to <100/day, and it feels like I’m almost out of the woods. I’m starting to have fun again.

I’m going to give it another few days… see if I can get my apprentice count to 0 before starting lessons again.

Moving Forward

Feels like it might be a good idea to take a lesson break every 10 levels, to squash leeches and reduce the daily review pile.

As an experiment, I wrote a userscript to help me keep a more reasonable pace moving forward. Turns out that even with 100% accuracy, doing 25 lessons/day will eventually lead to 200 reviews/day. As accuracy drops, review/day increases.

If my script actually helps me, I’ll share it in a month or so :slight_smile:


This looks useful, thank you for sharing. I am trying to work out a reasonable pace at the moment. Just to clarify, does 25 lessons means 25 new items learned? Or does it mean 25 lessons x 5 items per lesson? Because if it is the first then that does escalate a lot…

One way or another, I think these challenges or burn-outs are healthy in the long run. You hit a wall or challenge, but you get past it and on the other side it’s a sense of accomplishment. Like “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So the next time something difficult comes up you’re even better equipped to handle it, and you can scale taller and taller walls of challenges as they come your way.

Until eventually…


I feel like I’m just a few steps behind you :laughing: starting to get tired, it may be due to lack of sleep or overworking on wanikani, there’s a ton of vocab with same meanings and others with something similar. I keep mixing them up and get a couple kanji wrong too. I do 28 lessons a day. I will try to push forward for now but I might have to take a little break like you if my accuracy drops further.

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I’ve been full speeding for around the same time, and don’t feel near to burning out yet. I think beginning to skim manga I want to read helps keep me motivated as I see how much I am improving. It also is what helps push me through grammar, which I enjoy significantly less.

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Yeah - 25 lessons means 25 new items per day. Eventually those items turn into daily guru reviews, master reviews, and so on, because there is always a previous study day which was 10, 24, and 53 days ago

Right, thank you. I will… try and slow down a bit :sweat_smile:

At first, going fast is great! I’d encourage it. No need to slow down unless you get into hot water like I did :slight_smile:

I would say that binging isn’t a great idea. I had a 3 day break while at a conference, then on the flight home (12 hours), I did hundreds of lessons and reviews in one day.

Seemed like a good idea until that huge wave hit me again at each review cycle.

That might be what caused my burn out actually… That and regularly doing more than 30 lessons/day. Too many for me!!

I slowed WAY down once I hit level 15. I haven’t checked to see exactly but I think I’ve spent twice as long on this level as previous ones. This is when I started burning items, so my reviews really increased. I’m finally on level 16 though and hopefully this one will be easier…? If not I’ll just keep slogging through toward the light at the end of the long, long tunnel lol.


Honestly those leeches are the most difficult thing to deal with. I took a few weeks to deal with my leech pile the last time it got out of control. Good job getting through it


Still getting the reviews wrong on something you are supposed to already know from 10 levels ago can be so discouraging. Especially when you finally get it to master or enlightened only to flop back to apprentice when it pops back up again


Then, I shall just keep an eye on those review forecasts and be ready to slow down in a few levels. Thank you, it is a little hard to know what to expect this early.

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Thanks for the suggested counts! I’m currently able to keep up the pace, and my counts are similar to yours, so I’m just gonna keep taking on new lessons at they come until I hit those thresholds and let it simmer for a couple hours. I normally do reviews as soon as they are available during my free time, which helps break up the reviews instead of lumping them all in one or two big review sessions each day.

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This happened to me and it took a lot of effort to find my way out of the burnout. I think I might be clear now but let’s see. The review counts just got me and now after 3 months of staying on one level just working my way down 0-100 reviews a day from 1300 reviews backlog, I have a lot of gurus at master / Enlightened level and my daily review counts are again 150-200 or so.

Don’t give up, it usually gets worse before it gets better.

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Good advice! I think I’m back in motion, but I’m more relaxed this time, not rushing ahead :slight_smile:

Glad you’re in motion too - Good job getting through your wall!

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Speaking of burnouts…
(I reset down to 25 a couple weeks ago so the latest are screwy.)

But I’m back, for at least the third time now.


This is why lifetime membership makes sense, you never know when you’ll burnout and reset down in levels. IMO Thinking you’re done in 2 years is a pipe dream that only brings suffering.


LOL - then my thinking I’ll be to level 60 in 1 year must be a bigger pipe dream :slight_smile:

Fortunately, I did purchase lifetime membership!


I splurged and took the Christmas sale after a while of (beta-discounted) premium and I’m very glad I did. I’ve been here a little over 5 years now, so it’s definitely paid off.

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