Many of the best traders share one thing in common: their morning routine. These habits can help you find your most productive strategy.
What’s the secret to getting to the next level as a trader?
Everything that happens before the opening bell.
Establishing a daily morning routine can be the difference between an average day of performance and a winning mindset that gives you the edge. Devoting your morning to self-care and focus may also make you less likely to indulge in bad trading habits.
What works for one person may not work for another, but many of the most successful people share the same morning rituals. These are the morning habits that may be the foundation for your most productive trading.
WAKE UP EARLY
Rolling out of bed five minutes before the opening bell probably won’t help you reach your peak trading performance. Give yourself plenty of time to wake up and research the markets and any news announcements. Even if you prepped the night before, there may be new press releases or pre-market activity that can affect your plan for the day. Check any global market activity that happened overnight, futures markets, the economic calendar, and broad market indices.
MANAGE YOUR MINDSET
It’s amazing how your day can change when you start with a calm mind instead of apprehension. Before diving into your work, try budgeting time for activities that can relieve stress and boost your mood. Research has shown that exercise, meditation, or journaling can not only improve your temperament but also develop your focus and increase productivity.
Do you ever tell yourself you’ll get around to learning something new, but by the time evening rolls around, you just want to relax and watch a light-hearted movie? If you find you never seem to have the time, try incorporating practice for your hobby or skills into your morning routine. You can multitask by playing an audiobook, podcast, or educational video series while you’re cooking breakfast or exercising. Devoting just 15 minutes a day can be a more manageable way to learn something new.
Even if you work from home, you might notice a difference in performance between working at a computer in a decent outfit and blinking the sleep out of your eyes while wearing sweatpants. You probably don’t need to wear your most professional wardrobe, but taking a shower, getting dressed, and having a proper breakfast can help you feel like you’re ready to work. Trading can happen at a fast pace, and if you’re only partially awake, you can miss out on some of the most profitable trades. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
REVIEW THE PLAN
Just before your trading day starts, go over your plan and make any adjustments you may need depending on the market conditions. Set goals for yourself, including how much you aim to make, your entry triggers, stop losses, or trailing criteria. As you go over your watch lists, review any company news and alter your strategies if necessary.
Be honest with yourself: will you really just check your phone for one notification, or will you be locked into 20 minutes of mindless scrolling? Identify your biggest time-wasters and resolve to ignore them so you can stay focused. Excessive social media, video games, or television in the morning can take your attention away from your goals. Remember your vision, and don’t look in any direction but ahead.
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