Im not allowed to enter new trades 20mins prior to important news releases. So I take what I call a 'no screen' break for 20-30mins prior to news. By 'no screen' I mean that I have to get up and go do something that doesn't involve computers, tv, tabs etc. This is so I give my eyes a rest, and also have to actually get up and go do something. Unfortunately 20-30mins isn't very long so I generally end up just packing the dish washer or watering the lawn,...or wondering around the house aimlessly. lol,...it would probably be hysterical if anyone had to see this. It's not ideal, but I haven't managed to figure out anything else to fit into such a short period of time while also giving my eyes a rest.
The problem comes when there is no news scheduled for certain days. Then there is no reason to get up other than food, which I then bring back and eat in front of the computer. Not ideal.
You donít trade the markets; you only trade your beliefs about the markets.
- Van K Tharp
The following user says Thank You to DarkPoolTrading for this post:
If my wife were a futures.io (formerly BMT) member she would "Thank" both of those.
In the past, I have spent some days from 6am until maybe midnight, then taken a laptop to bed, woken up through the night to stare at price. Not a very fun time in my life.
My schedule today is a lot better. I come to the trade desk around 8am, read the news on a few websites, look at overnight price action and make any necessary adjustments to my drawn analysis, then get up and walk around before the open, usually outside for a few minutes. I am glued to my monitors around 9am for the CL open, and then it depends on what happens, but I almost always get up and do something for a few minutes even, several times between 9am and 2:30pm.
I do almost always eat at my trade desk, and keep things in the house that are easy for that. Healthy bars, yogurt cups, bananas, and the not so healthy bags of chips (but still whole grain so I can pretend it is healty), anything I can grab and return to the desk. For my style of trading, the market has a very limited window of good opportunites every day, between 9am and 2:30pm, and that is not a hard schedule, so I commit myself to those hours. But, I try to be done by noon, and will get out if I feel I have accomplished what I came to the day for.
If I am bored, sometimes I will switch to ES between 2:30pm and 4:30pm, occasionally taking a 1 contract trade. Trading is also something I just enjoy, and that window of the day is more like playing a game. I will lose $50-$75, or make whatever it will give me.
After I am done, I MUST get out of the house. It is a part of my unwritten but well defined Trading Plan. Socialize is on top of that list. Exercise is next. And if I can't find anything, the weather sucks, or whatever, I go the the mall, grocery store, anything to try to maintain a balance between screen time and the rest of the world.
Several times a week, just because my desk is in the mai living area of the house, I will watch the 6pm open, again, just for something to do. It is cheap entertainment.
I do my higher timeframe analysis on the weekends most of the time, spending maybe 2-3 hours tops, sometimes spreading it between the two days, and that analysis from then forward usually lasts for the week, with just a few minor daily adjustments typically.
Having not had a real job since 1992, I don't really define work hours as black and white, and have been what I joked was the Workaholic Poster Child for many of those years, but I would say that overall my time working has decreased by about 50% over the past couple years, compared to what would have been my high point. I am not sure I could truly calculate it without keeping a journal of it, but maybe average 40-50 hours a week, including weekends. To me, it is not about the number of hours spent as it is how I feel during those hours. Spending more time because I am enjoying it, like my ES trades, is far less concerning than spending more time backtesting.
The following user says Thank You to GaryD for this post:
Screen time has become a fact of life, not just for traders but everyone. I don't trade full time, but my business requires screen time too. I also read the news, perform research on tools and equipment, do my banking and find recipes, averaging 10+ hrs a day and my kids are just as bad. So we instituted a family rule where we have an electronic free weekend once a month. Not all electronics, but no computers, tablets or video games and you can only use your phone to make and answer calls. We do it Friday 6pm through Sunday at midnight. It's harder than you think at first, but it helps you realize how addicted we've become to the damn things. I try to find time to ride my bike, hit some golf balls or get in the pool, anything to "ENJOY" at least part of each day. Got a new pellet grill so we're bbq'n a lot right now!
The following user says Thank You to kauai35 for this post: