How do [i]you[/i] maintain focus?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Thunderdog, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. This is an open-ended poll.

    If you trade the markets intraday and must keep your eye on the screen at almost all times, how do you, personally, maintain the required focus throughout trading hours? Do you have any methods for regulating the ebbs and flows of your attention span?

    I occasionally find myself missing setups because my mind was elsewhere (watching the news, reading ET, etc.). It doesn't happen often and is a not a big issue for me, but it is annoying nonetheless. However, watching the charts exclusively to the exclusion of all else is rather a challenge. Suitable music seems to help, but not always.

    I probably just need a breather or a vacation. Even so, I would still like to know how you folks deal with it.
  2. Hi Thunderdog,

    I personally take as many breaks as I can and avoid working from 11am to 2pm.

    You simply cannot stay in front of the screen all day long, it is very unhealthy.


    PS: Agree, music also helps.
  3. this is one of the hardest things for me also. i only get a couple of setups a day and it is tough sitting and waiting. i dont have an answer because i still struggle with it myself.
  4. FredBloggs

    FredBloggs Guest

    i take a 10m break every hour

    i switch on parental controls on norton that blocks et and other similar sites at the start of the day

    i only trade for 4 hours of the day.

    i will often plan the day around market events - so if its fomc day i will trade 2 am hours and 2 pm hours after the number

    if its nfp day i trade 7.20 - 10.30.

    when trading, i dont listen to music, news, tv or anything. just me & the market. i am trying to retain my focus after all so why distract myself.

    the only people who say you gotta work all day is your boss or your prop owner cos he wants you churning to pay his commissions.

    you should go down to the pits and watch the open. after 3 hours you will notice the pit is half empty. the locals and big swingers have done their business and aint gunna hang round churning and giving it all back.

    shoot. i hate 9-5 thats why i trade.


    although trading is hard work, it neednt be long work.
  5. Great question. I don't think that you can watch quotes all day long. For me I have TI watching the market, that allows me to NOT have to be too focused on the minute by minute since I dialed my setup so that they are all similar from day to day. I keep getting better and better and trading them. It is far easier to watch you P/L then to watch stocks all day long. Also that way I am less concerned about futures and other crap, just how am I doing. The result is I am not tired and the day goes by super quick. Now time to hit the water.
  6. That's why I am trying to learn as much as I can from the open mechanics: so I know beforehand when I am always gonna get in, get out and what instruments to trade at that given time.

    The advantages are also that the open can give anyone enormous opportunities and after no more than a hour and a half I am well and done.

    If I don't trade the open I wait for 2-3 o'clock and trade till the session-end.

    This way the pressure is reduce to a minimum.
  7. surf


    write and listen to speed/math metal.

  8. contemporary classical, big band swing music work well for me

    take a break at 12-1PM EST to go for a jog if its not too hot outside

    of course, there's always this west coast lunch hour before the close
  9. Look guys, if you are commited to trading as your full time means of income, you have to suck it up and sit patiently for the right setups. Once you know what to look for as your entry signals, the rest is just sitting on your hands and waiting. I sit all day (with a small break for lunch approx 30 mins) and watch about 60 or so stocks, and from those I gauge which ones offer the best potential that day and then focus more closely on them. Timing is so key, you cant be typing on ET all trading day long or watching tv or reading the newspaper. Otherwsie I am going to beat you to those shares :D

    Trading is a serious business and must be treated as so. I am a firm believer that if you want to step your game up, you have to be "on" at all times. Anyone disagree?

    (I am only talking about daytrading here, obviously swing requires less intensive market watching)
  10. Almost everyone who struggles with this can seriously alleviate the problem if they were not trading alone. I moved from my trading office in Chicago where there are other traders to a home office in DC. I can't express how important it has been for me to have VoIP access to my trading room and to communicate all day. When one is looking at emails, etc, there are others who are trading and you can hear their machines or they will say something every time. My traders trade various markets so it is also good to know that the bonds plummeted 7 ticks and the indices are still holding or whatever..... I also actively provide levels, spot important prints on the tape, etc throughout the day and alert everyone. It works very well and keeps me involved.

    I must highlight that I'm a futures scalper. This may not be the solution for someone who is watching an opening range trade for the day. It could be disruptive to others who may be trading more actively, etc.

    Just my 2 cents....
    #10     Sep 27, 2005