Let me share some great email Q&A.
Firstly because this question will be relevant to many of us.
And secondly because if you have some other thoughts on this issue I’d love to hear them. Feel free to add comments below the blog post.
- Your job as a trader is not to watch every tick, but rather sit and wait for your opportunity to trade a good setup. While you sit and wait for this opportunity, what are some other things you are doing at your computer? Are you reading a book, watching a trading video simultaneously, making notes…what are some things you can do to avoid boredom?
My trading session is typically 2.5 hours duration. During this session there are times I need to get away from the screen entirely. They will only be short duration; maybe one to two minutes each half-hour. And again if I need to clear my mind and refocus. A quick walk or exercise routine. And maybe a drink.
But apart from this… my job is to watch every tick.
No distraction through books or trading videos or social media.
I watch every tick.
The difference is that there are periods of time when I am ACTIVELY focused on price (in setup areas and other areas of interest). And other times when I’m more PASSIVELY focused on price (outside of the setup areas).
In both cases I’m watching tick by tick, but one is more intense while the other is more relaxed. I guess to create an analogy, think of the difference between driving at night in a storm versus driving by day in fine weather on a known route. The first is very focused, the second almost occurring on autopilot.
There is no need to manage boredom when I trade in the focused active state. It doesn’t happen.
In the passive state, it can be a problem.
My current plan is to step back from the screen (I have a standing desk so this is easy. The same could be done at a normal desk through shifting the seat back). Being out of reach of the keyboard and mouse prevents me from succumbing to the temptation of social media.
And then I just play games as price moves. Will the current candle break the prior candles high or low? Will the current swing break the prior swings high or low?
It keeps me engaged in price. But in a relaxed way. And ready and able to act if there is a sudden shift in conditions which warrant a more active style of focus.
This may or may not work for you. It’s just what works for me.
For as bad as boredom is, what is worse is missing something in the charts because you had your head buried in a book or trading video, and missed the shift in sentiment that sets up a new opportunity.
Hope that helps,
I think boredom comes when one does not have interest and dedication in his work. You have great way to avoid boredom. Thanks for adding value.
That is certainly one possible cause of boredom. But it’s not the only one. It can be very hard to maintain enthusiasm for price at times when it’s just stuck in narrow range grinding chop. And very easy to give in to temptation to just sneak a quick look at social media (or other distractors).
Absolute focus is extremely important, but how do you manage not to fall into a trance by tracking every tick? It seems to me that if you follow each tick for a long time, you can lose the overall picture and get provoked by the market, often it gives a strong candle in one direction and then turns sharply to the other and only the vision of the General background does not allow you to fall into this trap, and focusing on each tick can drive you into it.How do you solve this contradiction?
If you find this happening, the mistake is in losing context. Watch price tick by tick, but it must occur within the context of the trading timeframe trend, structure & trade premise (if applicable). If you find yourself over-reacting to individual ticks or even individual LTF candles, temporarily hide the DOM or LTF chart and reorient with the trading timeframe picture.