Incremental New Cards: The Result
So my latest experiment ended at a 10-day streak – that’s exactly 20 new cards per day, for those of you keeping score at home! But 20 per day was the figure I had initially planned on ramping my daily reviews up to. What does this mean for my little experiment?
Well, it means a few things.
First, I very well could have kept going for at least a few more days, I think. Though the latter two or three days of reviews were really beginning to drag, I was able to clear through without all that much incident with the help of timeboxing methods and breaking my sessions into two or three chunks. Regardless, once I had hit that 20 mark, I knew that was as high as I was going to feel comfortable – for now, anyway.
Second, this experiment has become more time consuming at a time when I’m quite a bit more busy than when I started. Not to mention, I got other shit to do that takes precedence. Better I go back to my old, tried and true “slow” rate and make solid progress over time, rather than focus my energy and neglect other things (something I excel at, I assure you).
At any rate, results weren’t entirely unsurprising. I knew I’d find my wall eventually, and I figured it would occur somewhere around 20. When I’m spending more than an hour a day in SRS, that’s almost always a sign for me to take things slower or risk serious burnout. Having barely broken that 1 hour mark during the tail end of this experiment and beginning to feel that burnout, the signs were all pointing to “stop.” Had I continued at 20 per day regularly, I’d most definitely have broken the hour barrier on a regular basis. This experiment helped me to find and define this wall, and because of that I think it was a fairly decent success. If nothing else, it kept things interesting and gave me a motivational boost to keep going, no matter what.
I should note that a fair bit of work goes into my “new cards” – although they’re already present in my deck, I still often need to add additional example words or example sentences, a process which I’ve sped up considerably since the birth of this deck, but nonetheless a time consuming one. Each new card I review per day eats up quite a bit of time. Had this been a more self-sufficient deck that didn’t require me to do so much manual editing, I’m sure my “wall” would have been a heck of a lot higher, but alas.
So, what have I decided to do now that my streak has ended? I was toying with the idea of going decremental, from 20 to 19 to 18 and so forth, back down to 10, but I really needed a “break”; back down to an easily sustainable 10 a day for me, at least for now. This surge has given me a boost of 55 (give or take) new cards, so I’m fairly content with the results.
Would I recommend this experiment to others? Perhaps. If you think you could fit in more new reviews but aren’t sure exactly how much you’d like that increase that rate by, I think this is a pretty good way to find that number. Even if you eventually revert back to your old rate like I have, you’ll still get the benefit of having reviewed additional new cards, so it’s rather hard to fail with this method.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I do believe I have some n00bz to pwn with my pitiful massive pagecount size…