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I am trying to apply pomodoro techniques in my work, and it "seems" to be good. But as someone in this site has already questioned: Maybe things is better because of my "psychic" feelings to start something new.

Moreover.. I have a strange feelings: it "seems" I am healthier (due to the fact of taking quick break), but I don't know if I'm really more productive.

Maybe I just feel better because work less & make less things done. My tasks seldom repeat themselves: sometimes harder, sometimes easier, sometimes a little longer or shorter. And everyday I have some new tasks, so it's hard to compare.

I want to measure my performance to confirm that fact - and to confirm the effects of pomodoro on my life, too. Does anyone have some tips to share: how can I measure my performance growth, if the task is not the same everyday?

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I like this question because it's asking for a way to scientifically assess a productivity technique that you've implemented. That said, if you feel heathier and more productive, isn't that good enough? – Adam Wuerl Jan 4 '12 at 3:52
@AdamWuerl: because it's only what I feel.. People around me seems un-awared about my changes, and it may tell that I'm actually not improved. Feelings may not reflects truthfully the facts; I need something more concrete. – Hoàng Long Jan 4 '12 at 6:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Without comparing similar tasks, this will be very difficult. There is a reason experiments are typically conducted with the fewest possible number of variables.

In my own experience, the Pomodoro technique has resulted in a noticeable increase in productivity. One of the nicest things about the technique is it's simplicity. Pomodoros are easy, so there are a lot of tools out there to help you employ them. There is Focus Booster for Windows and Mac desktops, Pomodroido for Android devices, Pomodoro Time Management for iOS devices, as well as a slew of other apps. This makes it easy to employ almost anywhere, which is a huge plus for any productivity enhancing technique.

I suggest you identify which tasks you are most likely to repeat (or at the very least two exceedingly similar tasks), and measure your performance with and without the use of the Pomodoro. This isn't something you can do in one day though. Better to spend a day or two with, and a day or two without.

At any rate, if you are looking to increase your productivity, it's worth putting in the time up front to positively identify what really is working and what is not. If you measure your progress carefully, you'll be able to make a much more objective decision.

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The only way would be if you had some other measure that you accept as a reasonably good measure of progress - for instance, the number of pages written if you are writing a book.

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@Sancho: I don't get your sentence? – Hoàng Long Jan 4 '12 at 4:51
@Christian: I think it helps some way... at least better than nothing. Maybe I will track the number of code lines... – Hoàng Long Jan 4 '12 at 4:52

Here is possible solution how to measure productivity:

1.create pessimistic estimate of every task (in pomodoros) before starting them .
2.At the end of day calculate (Sum of estimated pomodoros in completed task)/(total pomodoros done during a day) - that will be your productivity index.

My timer calculating productivity index as (total amount of days)/ overall pomodoros. That's enough for me to keep and eye on daily productivity.

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The hard part here is that my estimation skill is not so good. Task often exceed the deadline :( – Hoàng Long Jan 4 '12 at 4:58
This may be confounded by the fact that your skill of estimating the task difficulty may improve over time. – Memming Jan 5 '14 at 16:23

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