So I've been trying something new this week traders and I'm really starting to like it.  Just as the image above depicts, I've been exercising my brain. Aside from a trade I'm also a track and field coach. One of the things that I always emphasis to my athletes is to get a good warm up in before the workout. In fact, there have been times when our warm up routine last longer than our actual workout. Getting a good warm up before racing is critical because you want to have your body loosened up and ready to go, so that when you do go full speed there is no shock to your system and you don't end up hurting yourself.  Unfortunately, most athletes would not warm up if there wasn't a coach yelling at them to do so every day.  This was the case with me in trading.

Trading is my business and I make sure to treat it as such. I make sure that I wake up at the same time every day, and I have a morning routine that I follow on a consistent basis. However the problem that I noticed was that I didn't have a warm up.  Previous to this week as soon as my alarm would go off at 5:58am I would roll out of bed, grab a cup of orange juice and start checking out some charts . At first this felt good. Why? Well because it felt as if I was being productive. However, when I sat back and really thought about it, I asked myself, in what other job does an employee roll out of bed and go straight to work? And although I felt productive, was I really being productive? Or was I simply going through the motions.  So this week I decided to try something different.

This week instead of loading up the charts right away, I decided to turn on the TV, do some web browsing of the different trading groups I belong to, maybe write a post for this wonderful site called I Am Business ;-), then after I've been up for a good 30mins or so, get to charting.  What I found in this small sample time is that my body is much more awake and responsive (not on auto pilot) and that my brain seems to function and analyze things a lot better. I probably should eat a good meal beforehand as well but, I don't really get hungry right away once I wake up. Plus I enjoy getting all of the sleep that I can.

My challenge to you is to try this method out if you don't do so already.  I would say give it a good few weeks and see if you see or feel any difference in your trading. And if so, please give me some feedback. After all would a pilot, or a technician, or a teacher, start working as soon as they wake up? Well then why do we?

Ha Nguyen
5/9/2012 08:54:25 pm

Excellent idea, I usually wake up and surf the net on my iphone while in bed, then get up make breakfast and then hit the charts. I always break this routine when i have trades from the previous day. Will keep my mornings consistant and see how i feel after a few weeks.


5/9/2012 09:16:34 pm

Wonderful topic. This really hits home as I used to do the same thing, but with coffee instead of OJ. One day it dawned on me that at my old job I use to go in an hour or so before anyone else just to acclimate myself and maybe catch up on some paperwork before the day took off, really made a difference in starting the day off right. So I decided to try the same with my trading.
Today I have a pretty strict routine that really works for me, after getting my butt out of bed, I do a little exercising (not a lot mind you, just to get the blood flowing), eat, dress, then hit the PC and find something to get the mind flowing. Maybe a couple of news articles, or often an older post from this site, just something to get my brain stimulated, then I hit the charts. Man, what a difference this change has made, spotting patterns easier, less mistakes, and not second guessing myself or my rules like I did when I was half asleep. It's a big difference to the 'old me' and a great start to the day, but I'm still not giving up my coffee any time soon coach, some habits just die hard. Thanks Akil :)

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