You may not notice this, but the focus you give to your trading activities will have a big impact on your trading progress.
Trader A who spends an hour focusing on the charts will likely execute more setups than Trader B who spends the same hour looking at both the charts and his Discord channels.
Meanwhile, Trader C who only looks at AUD/JPY’s 15-minute chart may miss reversals foreshadowed by the 1-minute charts, or miss similar setups presented by other AUD or JPY pairs.
If you want to maximize the impact of your efforts, then you should be aware of these three key elements of focus that may affect your performance:
Intensity of focus
A distracted trader is a losing trader in the making. How much of your attention you put into watching and analyzing the markets can affect your trading performance.
If you’re not focusing on what the market is telling you, if you instead think about your future P/L or your social media, you might miss market cues that could have maximized your gains.
You don’t need to “stop thinking” about other things to maintain focus, but you need to learn how to shift your attention back to your trades if you want to maintain your concentration.
Scope of Focus
Most people think that focusing means zooming in and concentrating on a specific task.
But humans have proven that we can focus on a lot of things while maintaining the intensity needed to successfully complete a task.
Take basketball players for example. During the game, they’re paying attention to not only their execution, but also where their teammates are at, the plays they’re making as a team, and what the other team’s plays are.
If you want to be consistently profitable, you must train yourself to shift your focus quickly without losing intensity. You can keep your eyes on price and volume and still know what’s happening in the larger time frames or where the related assets are going that day.
Duration of Focus
Like our muscles, the willpower to sustain the intensity of focus is limited.
Think Zack Snyder’s The Flash.
Remember when Barry Allen had to pause a bit so he could tap into the Speed Force?
That’s us. Traders are like The Flash minus the superhero suits.
After a while, we get fatigued and lose our concentration. Some traders take a break and then get back to high-intensity trading, while others only need a deep breath before trading like a pro until the end of the session.
Developing your ability to sustain focus is key especially to short-term traders. Ten minutes of focused trading will look a lot different on your trading journal than five minutes of high concentration trading.
Luckily, this is a habit you can train for. First, you need to remove distractions and eliminate competition for your brainpower. Then, do what endurance athletes do and slowly add to your timed performances until you reach your optimal trading schedule.
When participating in a high-performance endeavor like trading, it’s not enough that you’re motivated, capitalized, or have a solid trading strategy. You also need to focus on each and every one of your trades if you want to make consistent profits.