Avoiding Distractions While Trading – Learn How
Avoiding distractions while trading is very important. What is also important is to understand what distractions are present so you can make the right adjustments to avoid them. Not all distractions are the same which means that you won’t be taking the same steps to alleviate them from your environment. I want to touch base on a number of distractions that can affect you effectiveness as a trader. I have broken them down into a couple of categories in order to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them.
This is perhaps the easiest to define and to recognize. Environmental distractions are things around you that may draw your attention or get in the way of your trading. For one person it may mean sitting next to a window, for another it may mean having the kids around and for someone else it may mean that the significant other is sitting in the room chattering away. The point is, you need to identify which of these things may be distracting you or causing you to pay less than full attention. As a longer term week to week and month to month trader I don’t have the same concerns as a 60 second or 15 minute time frame trader. If my girlfriend is in the room and wants to talk she may require some of my attention but she is not going to get in the way of my trading the way she would if I were trying to trade 60 second options. In the same light, sitting next to a window or somewhere with a pleasing view may help one trader while providing another with multiple places to focus on that are not his analysis.
Mechanical distractions are another obvious area of hazard to avoid, once you realize it is getting in the way. Mechanical distractions can range from old computers to viruses and other impediments to the functioning of your trading station. One thing I want to point out for you guys doing the mobile trading; mobile trading is mechanical impediment to successful trading. The platforms aren’t as good, the speeds are not as fast and your connections are a lot more unreliable. Wrestling with an old slow computer that freezes up, or one with a virus that requires you to restart on a regular basis and plain old slow connection speeds are the biggest ones to avoid. Trading is an investment in yourself, you need to invest in your trading and provide yourself with the tools you need to be successful.
Market distractions are the small, day to day and minute to minute moves and news that can drive the uninitiated mad with frustration. Market distractions exists in the form of news, economic data releases, geo political events and even comments from well know market participants. Unfortunately, the only real way I can think of to avoid these types of distractions is with experience. You can stop watching the news and reading the news and trade solely on technicals but I don’t think that is the best option. Being involved with the market, hearing the news and watching how it reacts is fundamental to market speculation. You just have to learn to recognize the importance of what your hearing, refrain from making knee jerk reactions and stick to your analysis and trading system.
Internal Distractions are the hardest to recognize and the hardest to avoid. These include all the little voices, the gut feelings, the fear and the greed that drive you to trade on emotions, or to not trade because of emotions. Fear and greed are what drive the market and they are also the two most primal emotions and hardest to control. As with Market Distractions Internal Distractions can be overcome with experience, but not experience alone, there are still many experienced traders affected by their own internal distractions. The best way is to develop a trading strategy and system. A strategy is why you trade, a system how you trade. Together they provide a completely objective framework of rules for you to follow that are intended to help you achieve you goals of long term success and profitability.
How To Avoid Trading Distractions
So, how do you avoid distractions while trading? First you must recognize what your distractions are. Then you must develop a plan of action that will help you alleviate these distractions from you life. These steps might include creating a quiet and peaceful place where you can make analysis and do your trading. You might make sure your computer is up to date, that you have no viruses and that your internet connection is sound. While doing that getting a grip on current events is crucial, by doing this even the unexpected becomes expected which leads into the last and most important method of removing distractions; your trading system. Develop a system, use a sound strategy and stick to your rules.