tracking work time - number of pomodoros per day


Although I’m pretty new to Beeminder I’m really excited about it thus far. What I’m most interested in tracking is work time - I hope to help alleviate that nagging feeling that I’m never working enough. I plan to make a “do more” goal of number of 25 min pomodoros per day. However, I first wanted to do research to see how many pomodoros per day other folks are aiming for, to get a sense of what’s realistic. I wanted to make a post because:

  1. I thought aggregating examples of “# of work pomodoros” goals might be helpful for others in the same boat
  2. I would love to hear more suggestions about how you set the number of work hours or pomdoros you aim for, particularly if you’ve found your method helps with the “not doing enough” guilt

So here’s what I’ve compiled-- I list out the number of 25 minute pomodoros per weekday/ total number per week others have reported (although it is approximate and by no means comprehensive!):


My current plan if anyone is curious or has suggestions:

  • Work pomodoros: Start very small, 2 pomodoros per work day. Gradually build up to a goal of 8 per work day. I’m a grad student and I want to only include “real work” (writing, coding, reading research) and exclude meetings + email + slack.

  • Stop work: A goal of stopping work by 7:30 pm

Goals I plan to add later:

  • Home pomodoros: Lighter work tasks like email will get lumped in here, along with life-maintenance stuff (making doctors appointments, planning travel, cleaning). I think I’ll have a 1 pomodoro per weekday day goal for those tasks, and adjust up if needed.

  • Start work: I might add a goal of when to begin the first pomodorro by to get things going/ prevent procrastinating until later in the workday, but I’m going to hold off on this for now, for simplicity’s sake!


I track pomodoros per day (with weekends off) for my job. My rate is currently 6 per day, which covers a lot less than my working hours (30 hours per week).

I let myself add +1 for a pomodoro only if I did nothing but work in the entire time (e.g., no quickly checking messages from friends), and if I stand up and stretch or move around briefly when the pomodoro is over. If I stay sitting, I can’t count it.

Each pomodoro has to be between 25 and 35 minutes. An alert goes off after 25 minutes but I’m allowed to keep working without standing up for up to 10 minutes more (because I hate interrupting myself in a critical part of a piece of work).


it’s a good call to require movement for the pomodoro to “count”! I have been bad at getting moving during my breaks I think I’ll steal this from you.

Do you keep the number as less than total work time because some work is hard to do in a time boxed fashion or because its nice to have some buffer to make sure you always hit 6 per day?

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I’ve been keeping the number as less than total work partly because I like being able to build up buffer, but mostly because I’m not yet good at staying focussed. There’s usually a few attempted pomodoros (poms) a day that fail from distractions.

Work being hard to do in a time boxed fashion isn’t an issue for me because I let myself change between any work task during a pom. One reason I change is that a work chat might come in that needs a rapid-ish reply, although I’m trying to be mindful of what chats really are urgent versus ones that can wait.

When my job restarts in a week, year I’m hoping to have success with gradually increasing the pomodoro rate. One large source of non-work distractions ended recently, so I’m optimistic about being able I increase my focussed time!

I’ll probably end up capping the rate at 10 or 11 poms per day. 10 equates to almost a full working day if all the poms are 35 minutes long (which is rare but not impossible).

Currently I’m intending to let the increase happen automatically by using the Autodialer tool, with the settings below I think, but I may change that depending on how it goes.

  • #autodialMax=11 (can’t increase to more than 11 poms per day)
  • #autodialTimes=1.05 (increase the rate slowly)
  • #autodialStrict (don’t let the rate decrease)

This kind of goal was one of the best ones I’ve used (in grad school and elsewhere). Breaking that inertia to get started works better for me than many—maybe all—other goal types. (That feature is also what makes me love mini-habit goals so much.)


Just chiming in to say that I made a thread about this here: Do not beemind outcomes, but don’t beemind time input either: beeminding nudges

You are welcome to steal some ideas or say what worked for you :slight_smile: