This one is for day-traders on low timeframes.
Traders who make discretionary decisions.
Traders who rely strongly on being able to FOCUS. Being present with the market. And fully immersed in the the price movement as it flows from bar to bar.
Sounds awesome, right!
Until we realise that sometimes life just doesn’t give a damn about our desire to “trade in the zone”.
I sent this image out by social media during the week, based upon my experience on Monday.
I highly recommend you adopt this practice – a quick self-check in the final minute prior to the market open. Just to confirm that you are actually fit to trade. And that you’re focussed and fully engaged with the task at hand.
Most days you will be.
But sometimes, you will catch yourself, and realise that your mind is elsewhere. Distracted… and at risk of poor decision making.
So here I was on Monday…
I had been alerted an hour prior about yet another scammer operating on twitter, impersonating me and contacting traders by direct message to try to scam them out of money. (This seems like a good time to remind you all – I will never DM you to sell you any products or services. See here for more details. And always contact me through my website or legitimate social media pages, if you’ve been contacted and want to confirm it’s not me.)
Twitter had been notified. And the trading community on twitter were actively reporting and blocking the account. So really it had been dealt with as best it could be at the time.
And yet… I was pissed off.
And constantly watching twitter instead of the charts.
So here’s the important thing to realise… you don’t have to trade everything. Sometimes you can take a day off. Or even just delay the start of the session.
I chose option (b).
Delaying the start. Really, this was a minor issue. And it had been dealt with, for now. There was nothing more I could do.
But my mind wasn’t in the game and I needed to correct that. So here was the plan:
(1) I acknowledged the distraction, (2) I confirmed there was nothing I could action right now, (3) I committed to checking in on this issue again at midday.
Sometimes this is all it takes – a conscious reminder that it’s dealt with and can be put aside for now, with a firm commitment to address the distraction again once trading is done.
(4) I then delayed the start of my session. Just watching price for a bit and seeing if I could get in sync with the market flow. And then reassess, standing aside if I wasn’t happy with my ability to focus. And commencing trading if I was.
Let’s see how it played out.
Key point today…
You don’t have to trade everything. Sometimes you can take a day off. Or even just delay the start of the session.
Check in on yourself just prior to the market open. And if you find yourself distracted, but still keen to trade, just step back for a short period. Let some structure develop. Confirm you’re reading it well. And then get to work.
It seems strange that I have to suggest delaying a session start. But I know so many are keen to go right from the open. I get it – I love market opens. But I’m also completely ok with delaying. Especially if it’s only a short period of time.
And anyway, trading is often easier after some structure has developed.
One minute before the market opens, pause and check in on yourself. Where is your focus? Is it on the charts? Is it on your trading process? Or is it elsewhere, stuck on non-trading related problems?
If the latter… consider either standing aside entirely… or delaying the start just a little to confirm that you’re right to trade.