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Dec 4, 2010

Surviving Burnout

Today I finally received an additional burst of energy for learning Japanese and have been enjoying it by seeking out new vocabulary. Learning Japanese is a long term task and one that you never truly finish. Because Japanese is such a long term task, there will no doubt be ups and downs in your desire to learn, so I'm going to talk about how to deal with these periods.

While it's obviously best to continue working building vocabulary or learning kanji at a constant rate, you will no doubt encounter times where you just don't feel like doing it. The most important thing to do during these periods is to continue reviewing. Even if you can't muster the energy to add onto your knowledge, do not let what you already know rot away. Doing so will make starting back extremely difficult, so keep up with your reviews!

Another thing you should try is to not actually stop adding new material. If you feel burnt out and sick of working, try to still accomplish a small number of additions. Five new example sentences, five new kanji, whatever. Just add something so you never actually stop. I've been working on learning Japanese for a while now and have gone through several periods of not wanting to add (getting sick, busy with college courses, etc), so I know from experience how tough it can be to get moving. Overcome those difficulties and just do something in Japanese (and maintain your reviews!).

Maintaining what you already know and some momentum in your additions will make returning to normal additions much easier. During these periods, starting back at a small number of additions per day and working your way up is also a good idea. Seek out new media or find something in Japanese that you can really get into – doing so will probably bring you back to wanting to learn and anything done in Japanese is still moving forward.

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