Staying focused and alert

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by foible, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. foible


    I'm trying to move from a swing trading style to add in more day trading, in particular day trading the futures. When price stays in a narrow range, I have a hard time staying focused and start to drift off, reading e-mail, news or forums. I've tried listening to audiobooks and while these work magic when I'm driving, they haven't been much help with trading. So far the best technique I've tried is to read real books while making sure to glance up frequently. It is far from perfect, but at least my mind remains active.

    I'm afraid that I will start to miss opportunities because I wasn't paying attention.

    What techniques do you use to stay focused on the chart/tape, especially when nothing much is happening?
  2. use an alert function that will txt your cell phone when price arrives?
  3. I have the exact same problem. I get bored. reading does help. I also try to get up and go outside for about 5 minutes every hour...good for the brain and the eyes. Try to remind myself it won't be during one of the "key times" of the day when programs are likely to hit.
    U would be amazed how many good trades I've missed while reading about football on a sports site or being outside.
    Are u aware of these key times ?
  4. foible


    I used to take a walk around noon EST since volume would dry up, trading would get choppy and I would start leaking money. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start doing this again.
  5. It's sometimes hard to stay focused, esp when your setups are not appearing often during the day. And just when you go check the email or see how your fantasy team did, a nice trade shows up and you miss it...

    I'd love to hear other suggestions traders have to stay focused, esp when your setups are just not appearing. I know you could always go and find another way to trade, but I think the key is to trade what you know when it appears.

    One thing I used to do was treat the trading day as 2 sessions - an AM and a PM session. Basically 'work' from 9:30am to Noon, break from Noon till 1:30pm and back at it from 1:30pm to 4:15pm. For me, I need to get away from the charts during the day, but not feel guilty for leaving either...
  6. In quiet markets I regularly record the market conditions in my journal every 30mins. This makes me search for information. Whatever information is good for you will depend on your model about markets. Mine is centered around trade facilitation. Only about 1 paragraph is jotted down in my journal.

    Keeps me more in the loop then I used to be. Also taking breaks helps because I can't focus optimally for 8 hours a day.

    Kind regards,
  7. Post all of the pages of your log from yesterday, please.
  8. foible



    I haven't been keeping a log of the ES. Today was my first day watching it and my plan was to just keep screen caps of the annotated charts.

    Do you think that keeping a detailed log is helpful in staying focused? What format would you recommend starting with?
  9. txuk


  10. Schaefer


    Have you tried setting audio and/or visual alerts to notify you of potential setups? For example, price level, trend line break, technical, volume alerts etc.

    Happy trading :)
    #10     Dec 12, 2006