Do you guys implement 45 minute tocks the official pomodoro way?

This is more of a general question on how to implement pomodoros, not necessarily how to beemind them (I think I have that part figured out).

Do you all use the official pomodoro method, meaning each pomodoro is a strictly indivisible atomic time-chunk (even if the task is done early or if you’re in the zone and feel like working longer), and each pomodoro tied only to one specific task at a time (for the whole time).

I’ve been under the mistaken (though popular) impression that you should just move on to the next task(s) and do as many as you can until the timer goes off, or, end the pomodoro right when the task is done so you can start another after the break asap.

The official way seems better for effort/time estimation and planning, but then there could be a lot of time used inefficiently if you consistently finish tasks early when using longer pomodoro times (tocks).

Another way to phrase my problem would be how do you suggest dealing with shorter tasks when using 45 or longer minute tocks?


Personally, if I end up with extra time at the end of a pomodoro I try to focus on tasks which inform what the next pomodoro should be. For example, checking work email or checking if any of my code reviews are unblocked, etc. I try not to do break time activities, like checking personal email or other things that are unrelated.


That’s actually what I was thinking of, thanks! I’ll either do that or drop the pomodoro altogether and just use quasi-reinforcement techniques, I’m going to try both this coming week.

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With our tocks script, it works like this:

  • finish in less than 45 minutes, get credit for (t ÷ 45) tocks
  • fail (or give up) in less than 45 minutes, get no credit
  • longer than 45 minutes? get credit for ½ a tock, regardless of success
  • get caught off-task by tagtime? subtract 2 tocks credit

I tend to use pomodoros when I’m working on long tasks because of the nice work/break rhythm, and I use tocks when I’m working on shorter/completable tasks.