Defined by A 4X Trader
Despite my analysis, which has been spot on, my trading has been shotty the past 2 weeks. Since the start of the year, I have had now 2 down weeks. I know this week will be the second considering the drawdown I suffered earlier in today’s session (unless the EUR/GBP, which is still on my books, rips down ridiculous prior to week’s end).
So I’m putting myself on a GBP/USD timeout for the rest of the week. During this time, I will do the following in order to clear my mind and get back on track:
- SLEEP!! - The 24/6 per week schedule that us forex traders keep is one reason we choose this market. However, it can be extremely draining. My best times to trade is in the middle of the night (Los Angeles time). The kids are asleep, the house is quiet and calm, and I am able to concentrate with virtually no distractions. But when do I sleep? Come morning, its time to deal with children (7, 6, and 2 so they need seemingly constant attention), deal with the demands of managing a household, and the demands of being a professor. Not to mention check in with the markets constantly throughout the day and by the time the day winds down, I’m back to the markets full time.
This has never been a real problem until now. I realize now that I need to rest. I need to rest my mind as well as my body. That may mean days I just don’t trade. Looking at markets is pleasant. Trading, however, can be stressful. I need to allow myself more than 1 day some weeks to refresh and recoup for battle.
- CLOSE THE COMPUTER - Technology is great and Lord knows I utilize it to the upmost. I connect with friends and family on FaceBook, traders on Twitter and StockTwits, and colleagues via email. It’s great!! But all this connectedness is also leaving me drained and a little too wired. When I take long stretches with the computer off, not just away from the computer but with it OFF, I find that my attention and thought get more focused. I can see things clearly and with more forethought and wisdom. And being focused mentally gives me even more of an edge in my trading as well as in my businesses. In fact, the more LED lights I can cut off the better. The buzz of the computer, TV, and even clocks can be maddening without us even noticing. Take time to turn off the technology and breathe in the silence that comes with it.
- GO OUTSIDE - Fresh air and sunshine have always been great medicine. Even when I’m sick, probably especially so, I love to take neighborhood or beach walks. I feel clearer and even healthier. I’ll sometimes take the kids with me and let them dictate the pace of the walk. Which leads me to…
- SLOW DOWN - Our entire society has become faster. The now web. Instant gratification. Fast food. So many times we are rushing through our day. Ripping and running from charts, to meetings, to school, to dance practice, through dinner and off to bed. Phew! Now I can get back to my charts. Even my time outside, I’ve rushed the kids through our walks constantly asking them to walk faster or not stare at that flower for so long. NO MORE OF THAT! Children slow us down. At least during these walks and times outside, I will simply let them. And it is GREAT. In fact, I’m looking to see where else I can add slow in my life. SLOW is good for the mind and soul.
These are just 4 things I will look to do more often during my trading week so as to avoid traders burnout and, ultimately, eliminate mistakes. I hope this helps other traders as well, particularly my fellow lady traders.
P.S. This really can apply to all people, not just traders.