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just wondering how other Pomodoro users factor in meetings, if part of your job is to dial in and participate in telephone meetings? Do you start up and claim a pomodoro for these, or should these be outside the pomodoro system?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Pomodoro technique is there to help you improve your focus and get your work done. It is (only) a means to an (that) end. Why would you want to 'claim a pomodoro'? Is it not a measure for anything. Don't try to use it as a unit of time registration.

If you need (to attend) meetings schedule them as necessary, they have nothing to do with pomodoros. With one exception: if you are planning a meeting you may want to use the pomodoro technique for the meeting: limit it to one or several pomodoro intervals to keep it focused. Even then you have to manage the parts of your meeting to fit into those time slices.

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Jan is right, If you are attending the meeting your focus should be on whether or not you actually belong in the meeting and how you can best play with the team to achieve the purpose of the meeting. Doing these two things ensures the best use of your time. – Manuel Hernandez Feb 24 '14 at 19:03
Thanks Jan and manuelhe. I asked because I encountered content that spoke about having a target minimum number of Pomodoros. Some days my work is structured so that I have 'doing' work time and a target isn't unreasonable. Other days I have a lot of 'being' work time, and a target is more difficult. My thought was to make my days more consistent, but your observations make perfect sense. Thank you! – MidnightThoughtful Feb 25 '14 at 0:02

The Pomodoro Technique is designed for concentration. It's a poor measure of work where all you need to the job is to be present (meetings, service, selling food). And a poor measure of things where you're not at threat of losing focus (being in court, surgery).

In general, I won't clock a meeting in Pomodoros. You actually want meetings to be short and 5 min breaks don't work at all.

Sometimes I have meetings far from home and end up spending the whole day driving back and forth from the meeting. They're productive meetings and save me a few days worth in communication, but they're time consuming.

If you're tracking the number of Pomodoros you do a day, just assign it as "meeting your quota". If you have a 8 hour workday and expect to do 8 Pomodoros a day, a 1 hour meeting could be clocked as 1 Pomodoro.

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