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Top 10 Rules For Successful Trading
Most people who are interested in learning how to become profitable traders need only spend a few minutes online before reading such phrases as “plan your trade; trade your plan” and “keep your losses to a minimum.” For new traders, these tidbits of information can seem more like a distraction than any actionable advice. New traders often just want to know how to set up their charts so they can hurry up and make money.
To be successful in trading, one needs to understand the importance of and adhere to a set of tried-and-true rules that have guided all types of traders, with a variety of trading account sizes.
Each rule alone is important, but when they work together the effects are strong. Trading with these rules can greatly increase the odds of succeeding in the markets.
- Day trading is only profitable when traders take it seriously and do their research.
- Day trading is a job, not a hobby or passing fad of a pastime. Treat it as such—be diligent, focused, objective, and detach emotions.
- Here we provide some basic tips and know-how to become a successful day trader.
Rule 1: Always Use a Trading Plan
A trading plan is a written set of rules that specifies a trader’s entry, exit and money management criteria. Using a trading plan allows traders to do this, although it is a time-consuming endeavor.
With today’s technology, it is easy to test a trading idea before risking real money. Known as backtesting, this practice applies trading ideas to historical data, allows traders to determine if a trading plan is viable, and also shows the expectancy of the plan’s logic. Once a plan has been developed and backtesting shows good results, the plan can be used in real trading. The key here is to stick to the plan. Taking trades outside of the trading plan, even if they turn out to be winners, is considered poor trading and destroys any expectancy the plan may have had.
Jack Schwager: Investopedia Profile
Rule 2: Treat Trading Like a Business
In order to be successful, one must approach trading as a full- or part-time business—not as a hobby or a job. As a hobby, where no real commitment to learning is made, trading can be very expensive. As a job, it can be frustrating since there is no regular paycheck. Trading is a business and incurs expenses, losses, taxes, uncertainty, stress, and risk. As a trader, you are essentially a small business owner and must do your research and strategize to maximize your business’s potential.
Rule 3: Use Technology to Your Advantage
Trading is a competitive business, and it’s safe to assume the person sitting on the other side of a trade is taking full advantage of technology. Charting platforms allow traders an infinite variety of methods for viewing and analyzing the markets. Backtesting an idea on historical data prior to risking any cash can save a trading account, not to mention stress and frustration. Getting market updates with smartphones allows us to monitor trades virtually anywhere. Even technology that today we take for granted, like high-speed internet connections, can greatly increase trading performance.
Using technology to your advantage, and keeping current with available technological advances, can be fun and rewarding in trading.
Rule 4: Protect Your Trading Capital
Saving money to fund a trading account can take a long time and much effort. It can be even more difficult (or impossible) the next time around. It is important to note that protecting your trading capital is not synonymous with not having any losing trades. All traders have losing trades; that is part of the business. Protecting capital entails not taking any unnecessary risks and doing everything you can to preserve your trading business.
Rule 5: Become a Student of the Markets
Think of it as continuing education—traders need to remain focused on learning more each day. Since many concepts carry prerequisite knowledge, it is important to remember that understanding the markets, and all of their intricacies, is an ongoing, lifelong process.
Hard research allows traders to learn the facts, like what the different economic reports mean. Focus and observation allow traders to gain instinct and learn the nuances; this is what helps traders understand how those economic reports affect the market they are trading.
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World politics, events, economies—even the weather—all have an impact on the markets. The market environment is dynamic. The more traders understand the past and current markets, the better prepared they will be to face the future.
Rule 6: Risk Only What You Can Afford to Lose
Rule No.4 mentions that funding a trading account can be a long process. Before a trader begins using real cash, it is imperative that all of the money in the account be truly expendable. If it’s not, the trader should keep saving until it is.
It should go without saying that the money in a trading account should not be allocated for the kids’ college tuition or paying the mortgage. Traders must never allow themselves to think they are simply “borrowing” money from these other important obligations. One must be prepared to lose all the money allocated to a trading account.
Losing money is traumatic enough; it is even more so if it is capital that should have never been risked, to begin with.
Rule 7: Develop a Trading Methodology Based on Facts
Taking the time to develop a sound trading methodology is worth the effort. It may be tempting to believe in the “so easy it’s like printing money” trading scams that are prevalent on the internet. But facts, not emotions or hope, should be the inspiration behind developing a trading plan.
Traders who are not in a hurry to learn typically have an easier time sifting through all of the information available on the internet. Consider this: if you were to start a new career, more than likely you would need to study at a college or university for at least a year or two before you were qualified to even apply for a position in the new field. Expect that learning how to trade demands at least the same amount of time and factually driven research and study.
Rule 8: Always Use a Stop Loss
A stop loss is a predetermined amount of risk that a trader is willing to accept with each trade. The stop loss can be either a dollar amount or percentage, but either way it limits the trader’s exposure during a trade. Using a stop loss can take some of the emotion out of trading since we know that we will only lose X amount on any given trade.
Ignoring a stop loss, even if it leads to a winning trade, is bad practice. Exiting with a stop loss, and thereby having a losing trade, is still good trading if it falls within the trading plan’s rules. While the preference is to exit all trades with a profit, it is not realistic. Using a protective stop loss helps ensure that our losses and our risk are limited.
Rule 9: Know When to Stop Trading
There are two reasons to stop trading: an ineffective trading plan, and an ineffective trader.
An ineffective trading plan shows much greater losses than anticipated in historical testing. Markets may have changed, volatility within a certain trading instrument may have lessened, or the trading plan simply is not performing as well as expected. One will benefit from remaining unemotional and businesslike. It might be time to reevaluate the trading plan and make a few changes or to start over with a new trading plan. An unsuccessful trading plan is a problem that needs to be solved. It is not necessarily the end of the trading business.
An ineffective trader is one who is unable to follow his or her trading plan. External stressors, poor habits and lack of physical activity can all contribute to this problem. A trader who is not in peak condition for trading should consider a break to deal with any personal problems, be it health or stress or anything else that prohibits the trader from being effective. After any difficulties and challenges have been dealt with, the trader can resume.
Rule 10: Keep Trading in Perspective
It is important to stay focused on the big picture when trading. A losing trade should not surprise us—it is a part of trading. Likewise, a winning trade is just one step along the path to profitable trading. It is the cumulative profits that make a difference. Once a trader accepts wins and losses as part of the business, emotions will have less of an effect on trading performance. That is not to say that we cannot be excited about a particularly fruitful trade, but we must keep in mind that a losing trade is not far off.
Setting realistic goals is an essential part of keeping trading in perspective. If a trader has a small trading account, he or she should not expect to pull in huge returns. A 10% return on a $10,000 account is quite different than a 10% return on a $1,000,000 trading account. Work with what you have, and remain sensible.
Understanding the importance of each of these trading rules, and how they work together, can help traders establish a viable trading business. Trading is hard work, and traders who have the discipline and patience to follow these rules can increase their odds of success in a very competitive arena. (For related reading, see “20 Rules Followed by Professional Traders”)
Efficient Time Management – Turning Trading Into Profession
When you come to think about it, trading is going on all around the world 24 hours a day. The Asian markets are already open while some Americans only go to sleep. When they wake up, the Europeans are already half way through the day. There’s so much trading going on, no individual has the ability to keep track of all this activity. While some gifted individuals adopted trading as a full time profession, most of us only trade in our spare time.
When these traders go to work early in the morning they trade, that’s what they’re hired for, that’s their life. They are well qualified for a trading job, which includes reacting to various events simultaneously, and they have to do that under pressure. Most newbies I know always brag on how they could’ve been much better traders then the ones doing it as a profession, they are smart people indeed and I truly believe them, nevertheless, they seem to complain too often about their silly mistakes. They can make a killing at the beginning of the week, but then lose it all later. They’re always performing the right actions… until they don’t.
Part Time Traders and Professional Traders
Let’s think about the similarities between us – part time traders, and the professional traders who are trading for a living. For this discussion, let’s assume that unemployed individuals who trade for a living, but not as certified traders hired by a trading company- are professional traders. Just for the record, I would like to add that I don’t believe any person who has a regular job should quit his job to become a full time trader. Too many people actually ask me the question; “Should I quit my job?” “Can I make a living out of CFD, Forex or Binary Options trading?” etc. This is driving me crazy. If the question even pops out, you’re not ready for it. If you know the answer, I won’t be the one to stop you, neither to pick you up if you fall.
Back to similarities. We are all good traders in potential, we are all smart people, and we could all succeed. That is the reason why we are trading. But that doesn’t make us professional traders. We could all learn trading, from tools to strategies, practice all day and finally get used to it. We all understand basic events and their effects on the markets; we can all handle the pressure. Yet, that’s not full time trading. The most basic difference between a full time professional trader and a part time/newbie trader is that the professional does it for a living. If his trades are off track, he could lose his job. We part-timers might be losing some extra cash, we might lose and forget about upgrading our second hand car or go out only 2 times this week, but our lives would keep on going. If you’re a part time trader and you’re trading with your rent money, you’re in the wrong business mate. Stop now before you lose it all.
There’s a big difference between what we do as a hobby and what we do for a living. The lucky ones among us are those who work doing what they like, most of us would just have to keep doing their hobbies in the evening or on weekends. Unfortunately for us traders, there’s no trading on the weekend, so all the time we have for trading is early morning or on evenings, some of us even wait until late night to trade. Professional traders, when they wake up, start trading and keep trading until the day is done. Then they trade again. They trade out of instinct, just like a doctor treats a patient or a chef makes his dish. We part-time traders only have a limited time-frame to try and fulfill our dreams of getting rich, yet it seems like we try too hard. Instead of generating profits in our spare time, lots of newbie/part-time traders suffer losses. It’s not the quality or potential of the new trader, it’s the uneven equation between expectations (=profits) and resources (=time). I decided to exclude the money on the resources side since I don’t see any real difference between the money available for full-time traders and part-timers. The major difference between those two types of traders is time. We don’t have as much time to trade as the full-time traders do.
Trading in the Age of Globalization
Time was never in our favor, neither is it when it comes to trading. When a full-time trader who lives in London goes to work, the Asian markets are already half day finished. After his lunch, the American markets open up. He has the whole day to monitor worldwide events, and to use this information to enhance his trading. On the other hand, when an American part-time trader finishes his daily job at 5pm, the Asian markets are almost closed. Europeans are getting ready to close and the American markets have a few hours remaining. These time differences limit his trading time frames and therefore limit his resources. That’s the point where the proportion between expectations and resources lean towards the expectations side, causing much disappointment for newbie traders. Unfortunately for us part time traders, we cannot create time, we must make the most of the time we have. How do you do that? Simple. By adopting habits and methods, creating natural instincts for a limited time frame and setting the expectations to correctly match our resources.
Time Management is the key. Better and more efficient time management could eventually turn losses to profits, turning sloppy traders into consistent performers. When time is limited, the only possibility is to make trading more effective. Just like farmers use better fertilizers and more modern agricultural methods on their crops to increase production, we could make our trading hours more effective by managing it better. Also, another positive side effect of setting up specific trading hours is limiting the variety of assets being traded which means you will specialize in a smaller number of assets, hence you will trade those assets more profitably.
5 Rules for Better Time Management
Managing your time is no less important than managing your risks. As I said in Part 1 of this article, part time traders usually have a limited time to trade, it might be in the morning before work, in the afternoon or at night. When it comes to online trading, anyone can trade 24 hours a day, meaning that it’s possible in theory, but it’s not humanly possible and this brings me to the first step of time management: Setting up trading times.
Establish a specific time to trade daily
That’s the most important part of time management. There are two variables to consider when setting your trading hours.
A. Setting Trading Hours – and only your free time could become your trading time. Trading demands focus, especially when trading in short time frames. You can’t help your child with their homework while trading. That would be gambling. Ask yourself: what time do I finish work? What do I usually do after? Don’t just delay other tasks because you want to trade. Consider trading as a task, a daily after-work job. If you say “I’ll trade between 8 pm-11 pm” than those hours will be your trading hours. Don’t do anything else except trading during those hours; make sure to complete your other tasks before and after trading time. Consistency is key.
B. Global but Local – A trader from Europe can trade at noon, both on the U.S markets and Asian. A Japanese trader can only trade on the American markets at night time. So wherever you’re based, you need to understand that you cannot trade on all markets all day. You must focus on markets working on your trading hours; limit yourself to a few assets and indices available to trade on your trading hours. Specialize on these markets. Market opening/closing on your trading times could provide great opportunities.
2. After setting up trading hours, adjust your everyday tasks so they’ll fit your trading plans.
Let’s say you’ve decided to trade between 18-21. Whatever the tasks you have, you must not let them interfere with your trading hours. Finish every task before or after trading hours. When and if you have a new errand to run, something that came by surprise, try and do it on your off trading hours. No matter what it is, unless it’s something really important which has to be done immediately, don’t let it interfere with your trading hours. Your trading hours are no less important than your working hours. Trading is working, a profession, not just a hobby.
3. Now that you’ve organized your day so nothing will interfere with your trading hours, it’s time to prepare for trading.
Before you dive into your computer, exercise a little, pump some blood into the brain. I usually stretch and do some pushups, some people go for a run, some by a punching bag, and others lift weights. Whatever you’ve got to do to make your blood flow, do it. It’s important to be 100% focused before trading, good fitness could help a lot. 5-15 minutes of exercise before trading is all you need, so make sure to include it in your trading hour’s schedule.
4. Trading Specialization – the positive side effect of limited trading hours.
The problem with time is the lack of it. We only have certain windows for trading during our day, and unfortunately, not all financial markets are open when we can trade. On the one hand, we can’t trade all indices and stocks. We are losing opportunities. On the other hand, we could become much more specialized in a few chosen assets. I call it “the positive effect of limited trading hours”. Most people don’t understand that lesser variety is actually better than lots of assets to choose between. When you’ve decided to trade between 5 pm-8 pm, you know the assets available to trade on those hours, so now you can focus on them. More specializing = more profits.
5. When your trading hours have passed, call it a day.
The most important rule of any real trader is setting trading limits, both for-profits and losses. One common mistake done by newbies is to underestimate the market, losing more than you wanted or losing after a winning streak. When on a losing streak, beginners tend to believe that their luck would change at a certain point; therefore they should keep on trading to make up for their losses. The same for winning streaks – if I’m on a roll, then maybe I should keep on trading. Then you lose and lose some more after trying to gain back your used-to-be-profits.
There is a simple solution to this disease – setting goals for profits and limits for losing. Your goals should fit your trading level of course – if you’re a newbie, set a daily goal of 1-4% profits (% of the user’s account total value). When you’ve reached your goal, stop trading. Call it a day, look for something else to do, maybe some exercise. A 1% daily profit (5 days a week) equals 5% weekly profits, which sums to a yield of 20% – 22% per month. Pretty good for 1% a day isn’t it? If you had invested 500$, within a month you’ll gain a profit of 110$. 5% daily, for example, is a 165% yield in just one month.
After setting your profit limits, don’t forget about stop-loss limits. Don’t take luck as an actual factor when trading. That’s casino thinking. Set your limits for losing, when you’ve lost more than your limits, stop trading. No good will come from trying to cover your losses, you’ll only lose more.
Every trading day should be viewed separately. If you’ve lost yesterday, don’t try to regain your losses today. Keep up with your plans, if your goal is 5% daily, reach 5% then stop. Even if you’ve already lost 4 days in a row, stick to your limits. When the end of the month comes, calculate your losses and profits and think of a new trading plan. For example, I know a few traders that increase the limit for losses (say from 5% to 6% loss) after achieving their monthly goals. This allows them another 1% trading volume, a better chance to regain their losses. No matter what your trading plan is, stick by it. Change your trading plan only after a few months of trading.
Another important rule of trading limits – never continues trading after your trading hours have passed. If you plan to trade between 8-11, stop at eleven, no matter what your position is. You might not notice it in your everyday life, but our body and brain adapt to our habits. Some of us are hungry at noon, tired at night or full of energy in the morning, that’s just our biosystem. When we trade on specific hours every day, our brain and body would adjust themselves to the situation, allowing us more efficiency and concentration while trading. When the time is up, we might not notice it immediately, but our body functions would decline, causing us stupid mistakes and losses.
6. Think about tomorrow
Most traders find it very hard to stop trading, even if they have other important things to do or just feeling tired. As much as it’s hard to just stop trading suddenly, it’s necessary. Not stopping, as I explained in step number 5, is nothing but a recipe for self-destruction. Nevertheless, there is one way of trading without trading – thinking about tomorrow’s trading! After your trading hours are through, take a deep breath, empty your mind for 5 minutes. Release your thoughts on today’s trading and start thinking about tomorrow. Check out financial news, try to forecast future breakthroughs, special events, look for anything that might be your next day’s opportunities. Write down the hours and expected the effect of these possible trades; make yourself a list of opportunities. Then, when your preset trading window opens, you’re already equipped with enough information to make the right choice. Some traders take up to an hour reviewing financial news, some 15 minutes, it’s up to you. Don’t forget to include this time on your total trading hours.
7 Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills
Time management is a struggle for many people these days. We have so much to do in both our work and personal lives – and so little time to make it all happen. If you are a manager, executive, or startup leader, time management becomes even more of a challenge: You have to juggle both your team’s needs and your own.
That said, there are many ways to improve your time management skills. Plenty of resources and techniques are available to aid you in this endeavor. Here are seven of my favorites:
1. Make a Schedule – and Stick to It
Start improving your time management skills by organizing your days and weeks in advance. There will always be surprises, but it’s likely that you have an idea about the kinds of tasks and responsibilities you have to deal with every day.
If you’re feeling a little lost, spend a week or two tracking every single thing you do each day. This will help you identify patterns and recurring tasks, which you can then incorporate into your schedule.
The second lesson in time management is learning how to prioritize. To efficiently execute any project, you need to decide which stages or components of the project are most important to your business and the impact of each stage/component in the short, medium, and long terms.
In other words, you must figure out which tasks or activities will deliver the best returns. That way, you can prioritize these over less important tasks.
3. Set Some Boundaries
If you want that your team and family to let you work in peace, you need to inform them when you aren’t available. People can’t read your mind, so it’s up to you to set boundaries when necessary. You don’t want to sound rude, so be sure to communicate your limits in a polite – but direct – manner.
To make this work, you will have to make a few things clear to everybody:
– Which hours of the day you don’t want to be disturbed at all, except in case of an emergency.
– What counts as an “emergency.”
– When you are free to take quick phone calls or answer simple requests.
– How your team should proceed to schedule long-duration meetings for more complex issues.
4. Account for Good Distractions
No matter how hard you try, you will get distracted here and there. That’s a fact of life. Furthermore, no one can work for hours on end. We all need breaks to help us stay productive. The best thing to do is to accept that distractions will happen and try to incorporate them into your schedule.
Block out some downtime during your schedule every day. This may mean setting aside a few minutes here or there for a cup of coffee, a walk in the corridor, or a trip outside for some fresh air. These breaks are especially important if you work at a desk all day long.
You can also use your breaks to try some stress management techniques, like breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
5. Stay Away From the Bad Distractions
If there is a good side to distractions, there is also a bad side. If a distraction takes up too much of your time, you will find yourself greatly behind on work. So, get to know which distractions tend to drain too much of your time – and then make every effort to avoid these distractions.
For example, you may want to stay away from social media during the workday. You may also want to keep your email window closed until you are ready to sort through your inbox. Leaving the tab open in the background can be a massive distraction – each new email that comes in will make you want to veer from the task at hand. The same goes for app notifications.
6. Get Some Tech Help
There are many time management apps available for both Android and iOS devices. These can help you boost your productivity and ensure that you are doing what has to be done.
For example, if you want to know where all your time is going, you should try something like Rescue Time or Toggl.
If your goal is to keep your calendar in order, download Cal or aCalendar.
If you need some help keeping distractions away, give Focus Booster a shot.
If your to-do list is in disarray, then Trello may be perfect for you.
These are just a few of the options out there. There’s a time management app for everyone these days. If you’re not a fan of these suggestions, you can definitely find something else that suits your needs. Just do a little digging.
7. Never Procrastinate
If it can be done today, do it today. This golden rule should be your motto if you want to make the most of your time.
Take it a step further: If something in your schedule changes, and you find yourself with extra time before the end of the day, start on the next day’s tasks without thinking twice. It’s much better to finish your week earlier on Friday than it is to get stuck working on a last-minute project.
Time management requires discipline, planning, a strong attitude, and the help of a few good tech tools. But if you get it right, it will definitely pay off in terms of higher productivity and lower stress levels.
Give these tips a try and see what works for you. Your team, your partners, your clients, and even your family and friends will be much happier to be around you when you’re relaxed and on top of things.
15 Time Management Tips for Achieving Your Goals
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
One of the most effective skills you can have in life is powerful and effective time management. If you’re not managing your time well, there’s no way you’re going to reach your goals at work and the life outside of it. Sure, you might make some progress. But your time management will be an uphill battle if you don’t take your time seriously. For people who squander and waste the precious little time they do have, they know all too well how difficult achieving even mildly difficult goals can be.
The truth is that time is the greatest equalizer in life. No matter who you are, your age, income, gender, race or religion, you have the same amount of time as the next person. Whether you’re filthy rich or dirt poor, your time is the same. It’s not about how much time you have. It’s about how effectively you manage your time.
So if you’re serious about achieving your goals, not only do you need to set those goals the right way, but you also have to get serious about avoiding distractions and becoming too immersed in the bad habits that you know you need to quit. Time-wasters need to fall by the wayside, and serious grit-and-bear-it hard work needs to take its place.
The trick? Find a good time management system and work it. There are many. It’s entirely up to you on which one to choose. But if you don’t want to become part of the 92% statistic of people who fail to achieve their long-term goals, then you need pay attention to how you use the precious little time you do have in this world.
What are the best tips for managing your time?
One of the biggest problems that most entrepreneurs have isn’t just in how they can get enough done in such a demanding market, but also how they maintain some semblance of balance without feeling too overworked. This isn’t just about achieving and going after goals around the clock. This is also about quality of life.
Balance is key. If you lack balance in your life, you’re going to feel stressed out. Even if you’re able to effectively juggle your responsibilities, without proper balance you’re going to eventually reach your breaking point. So, it’s important to not only follow a system that will help you get things done, but also one where you prioritize personal and family time.
Don’t forget to do things like take a walk in the park or just sit and listen to your favorite music with headphones on, or paint a picture, go on a date night and so on. That’s more important than you can think. And when you do that, you achieve some semblance of balance. Life is short. So don’t ignore those things while you reach for your bigger goals. With that said, here are 15 crucial time management tips for getting the proverbial job done.
1. Set goals the right way.
There’s a right and wrong way to set goals. If you don’t set your goals the right way, then you’ll lack the proper targets, which will force you to fall off track. But when you set them the right way, the sky is the limit. Use the SMART goal setting method to help you see things through. And when you do set those goals, make sure you have powerful deep down meanings for wanting to achieve them.
2. Find a good time management system.
One of the tips for managing your time is to find the right system to actually do it. The quadrant time-management system is probably the most effective. It splits your activities into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. Things are either urgent or important, both, or neither. Neither (quadrant 4) are the activities that you want to stay away from, but it’s the not-urgent-but-important quadrant (2) that you want to focus on.
3. Audit your time for seven days straight.
Spend seven days straight assessing how you spend the time you do have right now. What are you doing? Record it in a journal or on your phone. Split this up into blocks of 30 minutes or an hour. What did you get done? Was it time wasted? Was it well spent? If you use the quadrant system, circle or log the quadrant that the activity was associated with. At the end of the seven days, tally up all the numbers. Where did you spend the most time? Which quadrants? The results might shock you.
4. Spend your mornings on MITs.
Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” His point? Tackle your biggest tasks in the morning. These are your most important tasks (MITs) of the day. Accomplishing those will give you the biggest momentum to help you sail through the rest of the day.
5. Follow the 80-20 rule.
Another great time management tip is to use the 80-20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. This rule states that 80% of the efforts comes from 20 percent of the results. In sales, it also means that 80 percent of the sales come from 20 percent of the customers. The trick? Identify the 20 percent of the efforts that are producing 80 percent of the results and scale that out. You can do this with meticulous tracking and analysis.
6. Instill keystone habits into your life.
Charles Duhig poignantly coined the keystone habit in his book entitled, The Power of Habit. In architecture, the keystone is the stone that holds all other stones in place. Similarly, keystone habits help to not only solicit other good habits, but also help to eliminate bad habits as well. Focus on keystone habits and you’ll get much better at managing your overall time by making your habit development much easier.
7. Schedule email response times.
Turn off your email throughout the day. When your email is pouring in, it’s easy to get distracted. Schedule time to read and respond to emails. If there’s something urgent, someone will call or text you. But when you have your email open, those distractions interrupt your thought flow and it’s harder to get back on track.
8. Eliminate bad habits.
One of the biggest time-wasters we have are our bad habits. Whether it’s Netflix binge-watching, excessively surfing social media, playing games, going out frequently to drink with friends, or so on, those bad habits take away the precious little time that we do have. Use your time wisely by eliminating your bad habits if you’re serious about achieving big goals in life.
9. Take frequent breaks when working.
One study suggests that you should work for 52 minutes and break for 17. You might not have the luxury to do that. But you should take frequent breaks. If you’re an entrepreneur working for yourself, this is crucial. It’s easy to run on fumes and not even know it. Keep your mental, emotional and physical states at peak levels by breaking frequently.
10. Meditate or exercise every morning.
You might not think that this will help to better manage your time, but meditating and exercising every single morning gives you balance. Cut the toxins out of your life and get serious by doing this and watch as your energy, stamina and mental focus takes a drastic shift.
11. Make to-do lists in the evening for the next day.
Every single evening before bed, make a list for the next day. Look at your goals and see what you can do to help move you closer. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. But by making to-do lists, you’re effectively setting goals for the day. Daily goals are easier to achieve while helping to move us towards the longer and bigger goals. But that happens by creating to-do lists.
12. Find inspiration when you’re feeling lackluster.
Turn to YouTube, TED Talks and any other inspirational source you can turn to when you’re lacking inspiration. It’s hard to stay on track with your time when you lose that drive inside of you. Find ways you can turn the fire back on by focusing inspiring content and seeking out others who’ve achieved big goals.
13. Get a mentor who can guide you.
Finding a mentor is crucial. It’s easy to get distracted and dissuaded when you don’t have someone guiding you. But when you can personally rely on someone who’s been through the wringer and can help you achieve your goals, it’s easier to stay on track with your time. Find a good mentor that can help you along your path.
14. Turn off social media app alerts.
Incessant social media app alerts aren’t helping you with your time. It’s definitely hurting you. Turn them off. You don’t need alerts every moment or to know everything happening with your friends. It’s not important. What’s most important is to have some peace of mind and be better able to focus on the task at hand.
15. Declutter and organize.
Studies have determined that clutter in our environment helps us to lose focus. When we lose focus, we lose time. If you want to avoid that, declutter and organize. Don’t do it all at once. Start small. One drawer today. A shelf tomorrow. Maybe a closet the next day. Just one per day. You build momentum and eventually find yourself turning into an organizing warrior.
Trade Management Rules
You need to have a game plan in place BEFORE you even consider getting in the trade.
That game plan tells you how you will manage this trade, whether it goes for you or against you.
Entering a trade is the easy part, it’s exiting a trade where you’ll determine whether you make or lose money.
Be Like Tom
Two traders, Tom and Jerry, could take the same trade but have two totally different outcomes.
Tom will make money on the trade because he properly managed his trade and planned an exit for different scenarios.
Even if he loses, he will know when to stop the bleeding and get out with a smaller loss.
Jerry, on the other hand, does not have a plan in place. He does not know what he is going to do if price goes drastically against him, eventually wiping out his account.
You do NOT want to be making critical decisions in the heat of battle.
When you enter a trade, you should have already decided how you will react to every possible outcome.
Try and figure out all the possible variations that could occur and decide BEFOREHAND what you will do.
Be Like Spock
You want to be a cold-hearted, emotionless execution robot when in a trade.
You want to be like Spock but without his human side. You want to be a Vulcan trader.
All decisions are made BEFORE a trade. You are proactive. This means you are not yet in the trade!
When deciding to enter a trade, you simply refer to what you wrote here. This eliminates any seat-of-the-pants decision making.
If you do take the trade, you already know where your initial stop loss will is placed, where your profit target(s) are, if you will trail your stop, where you might get out of your trade early, etc.
Be Like Keanu Reeves
Pretend you’re Keanu Reeves.
If you were to be given a pop quiz at any point in time during the trade, and are asked, “What if price does this or that? What if price goes here or there?”
“What do you do? What do you do?!”
You should be able to answer in a snap without thinking, for every single trade, every single time.
You NEVER EVER want to be thinking “What do the hell do I do now?”‘ when in a trade.
The time to decide such things is always, always, always BEFORE you ever enter a trade yo. Word?
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