I didn’t get enough sleep the night before last and my ability to remember foreign words was severely impacted so yesterday I didn’t do all my cards. I did what I consider my main decks, and the ones were I don’t write anything (because just hitting a button when you don’t feel good is much easier than laboriously scribbling kanji after kanji). Today I caught up on my sleep—and my cards. 633 cards in 2.39 hours. I also started a new deck (to add insult to injury) because my intermediate 2 class started this Wednesday.
In all honesty I’m not really caught up. My one mish-mash deck has never been at zero due. I look at cards for four minutes and call it good. That’s an improvement. I used to do it for three minutes a day. My Kanji Look and Learn deck I write out kanji for 21 cards (up from 10) per day and consider it done.
Sometimes certain decks suck my will to live, either because of the difficulty of the words or the time it takes to write and review them. Instead of abandoning them entirely I cut down how many I do per day either in terms of time (the four minute a day deck) or number reviewed. At first I thought this was cheating, but sometimes it’s necessary to adjust your decks in order to keep them alive. They snowball. You’ll be moving right along adding ten or twenty new words a day and all of the sudden you’ll come to the deck and have a ton to review. It’s ok not to get to all of them. Do some of them. Do one of them. Cut down the amount of new words. As long as you keep steadily looking at a few cards your backlog will go down. And you can slowly increase how many you do per day until you dominate your deck again. Sure you might not finish it as quickly, but remember the story of the tortoise and the hare and remember who always wins.