"Trading is simple, but not easy." Whoever said this hit the nail on the head. In fact, I would say that this is one of the key factors that separates successful traders from struggling traders. After all (as a member of the Live Room said today) if trading was so easy then we all would have made a million dollars yesterday. One of the hardest yet most crucial aspects of being a successful trader is maintaining a high level of focus.  For longer term swing traders, this means consistently reviewing your charts and adjusting your notes due to the most recent changes is price action. For day traders... it's a little tougher than that.

One of the reasons I started out as strictly a swing trader (1 hour to 4 hour charts) was because those timeframes really gave me time to sit back and think about my analysis. Since I was pretty new to the concept of technical analysis I would constantly have to refer to my notes when analyzing charts. Because I was on the longer timeframe charts I would have hours or even days before my predicted moves would occur so it wasn't a big deal.  However, if you're a day trader then you're well aware that we don't have that luxury of time.  I've only been day trading for about six months now, but in that time I've noticed that the level of focus required from me was a lot more than what was needed before.  Although, I'm using the same techniques and strategy it's still a whole different beast. To be a successful day trader, you need to be on point at all times and today I wasn't at my best.

Although it seemed like a good day in the Live Room today (despite our disappointing GBPAUD debacle), I was pretty upset because I missed out on two trades that would have netted another 100pips.  Now when I say upset, I'm not going to beat myself up and get discouraged over these two 5min trades. I don't get upset because of pips lost, I get upset because these were two opportunities that I should have been in and simply missed due to lack of focus. Whenever I make a trade in the market (win or lose) I like to go back and review it in order to see if I could learn anything from it.  When I went and did this today, I noticed that one trade was missed due to me having a limit order 1pip too high, and the other was due to me forgetting to put in a fib retracement. Seems pretty simple right? Hey well after all "Trading is simple, but not easy."

Lastly, I friend of mine in the room also became pretty upset today because he missed an entry that went on to win.  He said that the reason he missed it was because he was busy typing something on facebook.  This friend of mine is a good trader, so I'm sure multi-tasking isn't anything new to him. But for those who are new to trading, especially if you're day trading, my advice would be to shut everything in the house/office down.  No other internet site, no text message or phone conversations, and no TV. It could just be me, but when I used to do this I had plenty of times where I missed trades because I was distracted by something else. Even today, I still find it difficult to manage the markets while answering questions in the chat forum. Trading takes a lot focus, and day trading takes every ounce of it. So either you're all in, or you're not in at all. 

P.S. I know a lot of you are going to respond by saying "Akil you're a good trader, and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself." Although I am very confident in my trading ability (as every trader should be), I do always strive for continuous improvement (KAIZEN) so although I do find myself making less mistakes in than in the past, I still strive to be as efficient as possible in the future and getting on myself is my way of motivating myself to reach that point. 

Steve
4/19/2012

Hey, Akil. Thanks for that perspective. It's a great point (especially for new traders like me) and it doesn't hurt to be reminded that focus is key! Keep up the great work.

Steve.

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Akil
4/19/2012

Thanks for the comment Steve, I figure if I never forget where I came from, I'll always strive to get better. Glad I can help because not to long ago I was in the same boat as you.

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Rahul
4/19/2012

Thanks Akil for your honest and encouraging words of wisdom.

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Akil
4/19/2012

No problem Rahul, glad you're checking out my blog.

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Roy
4/19/2012

Sometimes the hardest person to work for is yourself, but if we are not critical on ourselves, than who will be? Great post :)

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Nuno
4/19/2012

i guess its not sometimes, its always.
Akil, do u remember our talk on the room about the entry on Aussie that i told you, my long would be 1.0315 well i got filled on the kiss of death, other times you score and i stay watching not beeing filled... it happens to al of us, dont be so hard on yourself!
thanks again for your words Akil, love read your blog.

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Akil
4/19/2012

Hey Nuno, glad to see it came down and got filled. I wasn't upset about that trade, rather one on the GBPJPY that I calculated wrong in hindsight. But you're 100% correct, sometimes we get to ride the train, and other times we must sit back and let others take the trip. Thats a great mindset to have. Love the comment!!!

Akil
4/19/2012

Thanks Roy, I know you're the same way. Thanks for always being supportive.

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Akil Stokes
4/19/2012

Thanks for the comments guys. Glad my posts can be useful/motivating. It's comments like these that prove I am doing the right thing by continuing to write.

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Eric L
4/20/2012

"my advice would be to shut everything in the house/office down. No other internet site, no text message or phone conversations, and no TV"
..Oh how devastatingly true this statement is.. =) As always, your doing great work. I love getting on G+ just to see your latest blog posts.

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Akil
4/20/2012

Thank you Eric. Before I started running a live room, it was so hard for me to turn the TV off, or keep myself for surfing the net. It was like torture

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Frank
4/20/2012

Akil..so true about doing other things while analyzing. I used to do a daily report summarizing Daily, 4 H, 1H, 10min. for my Skype buddies, missed quite a few setups while doing it,,,even worse, while chatting about it in Skype. This week, I went "solo"..but miss the group of great guys. It is difficult to find the middle road.

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Akil
4/21/2012

I agree, trading needs that special level of focus and concentration, but on the other hand it can get so lonely and the need for interaction while trading is so tempting. What helped me was running the live room. Although it can still be distracting, especially if we get a good topic going, I know if something really good occurs someone out there will remind me of it. Still though, I need to find that balance like you mentioned. Thanks for the great comment.

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