How Many Pomodoros Can You Do In A Day? (And How Many You Should Do)

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Utilizing pomodoros can be a great way to get the most out of your day. In fact, by squeezing in as many red tomatoes as possible, you can have the most productive day ever. But how many pomodoros can you do in a day?

Assuming you sleep 8 hours, you can do 28 pomodoros in one day, resting for 5 minutes after each and 20 minutes after every fourth pomodoro.

You’d even have 15 minutes left over to brush your teeth and get ready for bed!

If you’re not planning on sleeping (bad idea!) You can do 43 pomodoros in a single day, again this includes a 5 minute break after each pomodoro and a 20 minute break after every fourth pomodoro.

How Many Pomodoros Are There Without Rests

Without rest periods, just counting the pomodoros themselves (each 25 minutes.)

  • 57.6 Pomodoros in 24 hours
  • 38.5 Pomodoros in 16 hours (assuming 8 hours for sleep)

Without the rest periods, you’re not really doing the pomodoro technique anymore, your just working for 16 hours straight. But you might be wondering how many pomodoros there are in a day if you just take 5 minute breaks between each pomodoro.

  • 48 Pomodoros in 24 hours
  • 32 Pomodoros in 16 hours

The Table below shows how much time any given number of Pomodoros take both with and without breaks.

PomodorosWithout BreaksWith Breaks
250 min1 hour
41 hr 40 min2 hr 15 min
62 hr 30 min3 hr 15 min
83 hr 20 min4 hr 30 min
104 hr 10 min5 hr 30 min
125 hours6 hr 45 min
145 hr 50 min7 hr 45 min
166 hr 40 min9 hours
187 hr 30 min10 hours
208 hr 20 min11 hr 15 min
229 hr 10 min12 hr 15 min
2410 hours13 hr 30 min
2610 hr 50 min14 hr 30 min
2811 hr 40 min15 hr 45 min
3012 hr 30 min16 hr 45 min
3213 hr 20 min18 hours
3414 hr 10 min19 hours
3615 hours20 hr 15 min
3815 hr 50 min21 hr 15 min
4016 hr 40 min22 hr 30 min
4217 hr 30 min23 hr 30 min
4418 hr 20 min24 hr 45 min
4619 hr 10 min
4820 hours
5020 hr 50 min
5221 hr 40 min
5422 hr 30 min
5623 hr 20 min
5824 hr 10 min
How long 2-58 Pomodoros take in hours and minutes both with and without breaks

Is That Realistic Though?

It’s good to know how many potential pomodoros you could do in a day but, realistically what you want to know is how many you can actually expect to do in a day. There are a few different answers here and I go into the details below.

Traditional thought would tell us that there is a bell curve to the amount of focused work you can do over time. That is, at first you can get a lot done, it soon peaks and the declines. This is usually called diminished returns, an hours work at the end of the curve may only require minutes at the start.

However new research is starting to show that techniques such as the pomodoro technique can ‘reset’ the fatigue we experience and extend the plateau of the curve, or at least slow down the decline. Srini Pillay of the Harvard Business Review puts it this way.

In keeping with recent research, both focus and unfocus are vital. The brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus, allowing you to develop resilience, enhance creativity, and make better decisions too.

Harvard Business Review – Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus

The number of pomodoros you can do in a day however, depends on 2 things:

  1. Your Natural Ability to Focus
  2. The Tolerance You have Built Up

Each of us is built differently. And just as there are natural born bodybuilders, there are also those you naturally find it easy to concentrate for extended periods of time. For these people, doing 8 pomodoro sessions on their first try will be no problem. While for others getting through the first cycle (4 pomodoro sessions) may be a struggle.

The second factor is your ‘tolerance.’ As you do more and more work requiring extended periods of focused work, your tolerance for it will increase. This is something many pomodoro practitioners have mentioned online. Mattias summed it up nicely on Quora.

“The important [thing] is to keep track and keep on trying, because that will raise your average in the long run.”

Mattias Petter Johansson, Creator of Fun Fun Function – Quora

How Many Pomodoros Do Productive People Do?

The consensus online is that between 8-12 pomodoros is where most people’s maximum workload lies. On Reddit, many people quoted this range as their own goal for pomodoros.

“As someone who has used the Pomodoro technique for years, I can complete maybe 10 straight pomodoros of studying before my brain shuts off.”

“12 is my max, and 10 is my normal goal.”

“Working on my dissertation, my target was eight pomodoros a day.”

To round up this section let’s go back to Mattias who summarized exactly what we all want to know. How many pomodoros can we expect to do each day?

12+ is a really good day, in my opinion. Below 8 is bad, and 16 is just spectacular.

Mattias Petter Johansson, Creator of Fun Fun Function

How To Prepare For A Full Day Of Pomodoros?

So you’ve decided your going to go for it and try for a full day of pomodoros. You best be prepared if you want to make the most of it and really be as productive as possible.

Take a look at the list below and try to prepare as much as possible the day before so you have nothing else to do but work when you start that tomato shaped timer!

  • Food – You don’t want to fuel your full day of pomodoros with just ramen, so make something the day before or find somewhere that delivers! In fact, meal prepping one of the 5 Ways To Reduce Decision Fatigue
  • Schedule your tasks – Nothing destroys productivity more than not knowing what you need to do next. Create a Daily List so you’re not wasting brain power thinking about what to do next
  • Exercise – In your break at the end of each pomodoro cycle, get up and do a little exercise, not only does it stave off fatigue but you’ll enjoy it too. Pick something you can follow along with to make it even easier!
  • Distractions – Whether it’s your phone, your neighbors or your family, you need to find a way to eliminate the distractions. My recommendation? Switch it off and wear headphones!
  • Playlists – You sit down to start working but end up spending 25 minutes searching for the perfect playlist for your study session. We’ve all been there! Get the playlist ready ahead of time, or choose one of these!