There are traders I know who suffer from one-track minds … they care about the market (and the market only).
Spoiler alert: This isn’t the best way to go about trading!
While it’s great to be passionate about trading, there’s a fine line between healthy studying and crippling obsession.
For example … I’m a professional trader, but my duties as a father come before anything. I can’t ignore the three young children running around my house (nor do I want to).
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to spend as much time as I want with my family. That’s priceless.
Bottom line: You’ve gotta find a work-life balance that makes sense for you.
Most normal jobs make these decisions for you. Your boss tells you when you need to be at the office and at what time you can leave.
But as a trader, you’re your own boss. Only you can decide when it’s time to study and when it’s time to take a break.
This level of personal freedom can be liberating, but also overwhelming … especially for anyone who isn’t used to making their schedule.
With that in mind, I’d like to take some time today to talk about how traders can find a comfortable work-life balance.
Keep reading and I’ll show you…
Don’t Stare at Charts All Day
Your trading screens can be hypnotic. We’ve all been there…
Staring at charts aimlessly for hours, wondering where the time has gone…
But I find that doing this is more detrimental than it is helpful.
The longer you stare at intraday charts, the more everything blends together, giving you less of a chance to spot the truly five-star setups.
Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study the daily and weekly charts after the market has closed…
I’m just saying you shouldn’t gaze at the 1- or 5-minute charts all day.
As tempting as this can be, it doesn’t usually get you very far.
So, next time you find yourself hypnotized by your brokerage software, take a break and…
Go Outside and Get Some Exercise!
As a trader, it can be easy to find yourself sitting in an office chair all day.
Trust me, I know the feeling!
But you’ve gotta fight the urge to sit around all day…
Getting off the computer and going outside is extremely important for traders.
Me, personally? I love playing tennis and basketball.
I take any chance I get to hit some balls or shoot some hoops (especially if I’m having a rough period of trading).
After all, your mind and body are more connected than most people realize…
Your mental state is crucial for making solid trading decisions. And if you stay inside all day without exercise, your mentality can languish.
Break this habit. Go outside and get some exercise. Touch some grass!
Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, take time each day to get some fresh air and release your mental tension.
Never Let Trading Control Your Life
Even if you’re completely obsessed with the stock market (I know the feeling), you’ve gotta find balance in your life.
NEVER let trading take over your entire life.
I’m a full-time day trader. Professionally, I live for the markets…
But in the big picture, I value my time with my family more than anything.
I have a beautiful wife and three young children that mean more to me than any trade or any amount of money ever will.
That’s why I always make sure to take breaks from trading to spend time with them.
It helps me remember what’s truly important. Even better, it helps my trading.
For example, if I’m having a bad day trading, I take a break and hang out with my kids for a while.
After a short break with my family, I come back to my trading desk with a fresh perspective and a clear head.
I can see the positive change in my results. It’s not a fluke. These things are directly related.
If you let the stresses of the market invade your personal life — or vice versa — you’re unlikely to realize your full potential.
Having a comfortable work-life balance is important for everyone, but I think it’s especially crucial for traders who have to make their own schedules.
Remember that your physical and mental well-being are connected. Don’t sit around at your trading desk all day.
Bottom line: Don’t let the markets control your life and you’ll be a better trader for it!