Attain optimal productivity for successful forex trading.

Productivity is key to efficiency and optimal trading performance. In a fast-paced market, forex traders need to be highly organized and productive throughout all required tasks. For long term success, being productive can pave the way towards better systems and disciplined trading. It encourages concentration, effectiveness and consistent growth.

The volatility of the forex market requires traders to set reliable strategies as well as apply proper time and task management. Being productive can ensure all efforts are directed towards vital tasks. To grasp the opportunities from forex trading, learn from expert traders on how to be highly productive and focused.

As an efficient and expert trader,
what are the best tips you can give for optimal productivity when forex trading?

Aayush Jindal for Titan FX

The Forex market can be very volatile and surprising at times. In order to increase productivity while trading, you can follow these simple tips:

  1. Don’t overtrade – Manage your account and trades well. Opening too many trades is never a good idea since you need to invest more time in managing and monitoring trades. Always stick to 4-5 pairs at the most and analyze charts well before opening a trade.
  2. Have patience and control emotions – No need to chase the markets trading at extreme lows or highs. Have patience and wait for the market to reach proper levels before entering into a trade. Make proper use of pending orders.
  3. Construct a trading plan – Never start trading without a plan else you may end up wasting a lot of time in managing trades.

Scott Welsh, Trader and Developer of Automated Trading Systems

We all live in a constant battle between wasting time and spending time. We want to spend time and be productive, but it’s so easy to waste time these days. The tractor beam of distraction has never been stronger. So is there anything we can do to get more out of what we do? Of course! But first we have to determine what productivity means exactly and how that fits into our lives. In one way, productivity can mean getting a lot of research done. I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of trader. Before I put any real money on the line, I need to know that a trading system has been exhaustively researched. Otherwise, I’ll jump ship as soon as I have my first losing streak. So if deep research is the goal I’m after, then increasing my focus is how I’ll produce great results.

Here’s the problem: Did you know that one simple distraction can ruin our focus for about twenty minutes? It’s true. Let’s say we want to do some hard research for an hour. We do fine for fifteen minutes and then we decide to take a peek at email. Just the act of looking at email will throw off our focus and take us completely out of the zone. Just one simple email reply will ruin our progress and it will be twenty minutes before we make it back to our original focus level. Using this example, we did some good work for fifteen minutes before we got distracted and answered email for about five minutes. We then go back to our research but it will be twenty minutes before we truly get good work done (the residue of the answered emails still lingers in our minds and pulls us away). So now we’ve been “at work” for forty minutes but actually only worked for fifteen. That’s not good. And that assumes we don’t get distracted again! If we should decide to check Twitter in that twenty minutes of focus-recharge time, now we’re distracted again and our mind is gone for twenty more minutes. In that scenario, we’ve only worked for fifteen out of sixty minutes.

Just two simple distractions have made us woefully unproductive. The lesson here is: to be productive, kill all distractions. Turn off the phone, don’t look at email, close out of Twitter. Give yourself a roped-off work environment and don’t stop working till the work is done. If we do that, we can extraordinarily productive and still have plenty of time left over in our lives for fun activities.

Hugh Kimura for Trading Heroes

In order to be an efficient and effective trader, you should do two things:
1. Eliminate as many distractions as possible. This means doing things like turning off Netflix and clearing your desk of clutter. Give yourself the ability to focus on your trading for as long as you need to.
2. Have a trading plan and only look for those setups. If you don’t see those setups, then wait for them to happen or close your computer until your next trading session. Use the downtime to backtest or review your chart pattern flashcards. It can be easy to start inventing setups, if you stare at the charts for too long.

Ramesh Selvarajoo, Author of Trade Forex with Confidence

Forex market never sleeps. It is actively traded round the clock except for weekend breaks and during major holidays. Just like the market, forex traders have to keep pace with the market and be alert and nimble once their trades are placed in the market. However, many forex traders are simply glued to their workstation screens as though they had been hypnotized by the market, staring at the pip movements of each passing minute and hour. We all know, the market goes sideways on 70% of the time and yet traders are too preoccupied staring at their screens even when there is little activity. Wake up traders. There are many beneficial ways to do productive work in parallel while you wait for your trade to arrive or complete. These simple tasks not only improves your productivity, but they can be beneficial to your health and emotions, and can build you as a better trader.

Set your Alerts. Why not set email or get push alerts to your mobile device at the price levels you would be interested to trade or find quality trade setups.

Exercise. Just go outdoors or step out of the room. A 30-minute jog or workout in the gym can be a great stress reliever or depression buster. Exercise not only tone our muscles and keep us physically fit, but a good workout can also stimulate our brain to release emotionally useful and fun chemicals like Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphins. They naturally alleviate many negative dispositions such as anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, sleep problems and procrastination.

Work on your strategy. Use the spare time to review recent trade data and update your trade journal. Keep improving on your current strategy. Check your recent trades and look for fine tuning your system or backtest a new trading idea that you can keep in your trading arsenal.

Pick up a hobby, do something. I have a tropical fish tank in my office. For me to fight the boredom during slow markets, I will just move over to my fish tank and watch my fishes swim around the lushly planted aquarium, which can be soothing for my eyes and my soul. It calms my nerves and prevents me from taking trades on a whim.

Leonardo Barata of Analytical Trader

The first tip I would give is to set a time to read charts (or other data) for your trading, and avoid any distractions while doing so. While on the computer, it’s easy to open up the browser, go on Youtube, or even start a chat with a friend online. That will distract you from doing a proper market analysis, and it can make you miss trading opportunities. I believe trading is already challenging enough, so don’t make it even harder by multitasking and focusing on different things at the same time.

I would also advise to trade a timeframe you are comfortable with. Don’t go 1 minute scalping if you aren’t ok with making quick decisions and dealing with a lot of stress. If you prefer a calmer way of trading, trade in the daily or weekly timeframe, where you can take your time to make the best decisions. If you do want to trade intraday, then by all means try it, but start with a small number of charts and maybe 1 hour/30 minutes timeframe, and trade more fast-paced timeframes only when you feel ready for it.

And last but not the least, check out how are you feeling while trading. Avoid trading if you are just too stressed, or if you took a beating in a trade and you are trading just to get your money back. In trading there are risks of different nature, and I’d say that emotional risk is one of the big ones. Common sense is the best weapon a trader has, but it can easily be clouded while frustrated, angry, nervous or fearful. A trader who is too scared of losing money may avoid profitable opportunities, and a trader who is angry (maybe by what he already lost) can trade too aggressively and ignore any money management or rules. It can certainly be tricky to spot when we are in these states of mind, but being aware this can happen is the first step.

So, wrapping it up: focus, find your trading style, and keep an eye on your state of mind while trading.

Etienne Crete for Desire to Trade

One of the things to avoid in trading is the desire to stay in front of the charts to see what’s happening. That is the worst use of a Forex trader’s time. Personally, I take time at the end of the week to identify areas of interest on my chart. Those are places I’d begin to consider placing trades. Every day, when I scroll to the currency pairs that I trade, I only have to consider whether the price is at the zone or not. That takes 2 seconds. If the price reaches the zone I’ve identified, I’ll look for my specific setup (with the Bollinger Bands). That’s an additional 5 seconds per currency pair. Overall, I can scroll to multiple currency pairs 3-4 times per day in under 15 minutes. I also have a screen split in 4 (with TradingView) to look at 4 different time frames.

Samuel Leach for Samuel and Co Trading

At Samuel and Co Trading our traders utilise intra-day Forex strategies which means they will be entering and exiting the market throughout the day. Therefore, our traders need to be focused and in tune with what is going on in the markets, but at the same time, have the patience and discipline to not enter the markets for the sake of placing a trade or over trade.

We have many tips that can help ensure we are at the top of our game for the entire day and so we know what is going on and when. It all starts with the work you put in before you start trading for the day. Preparation is key when it comes to trading, with so many factors in play causing movements in the currency markets we need to consider all the market moving information possible before we place trades.

So, the first thing our traders will do before they start trading for the day is their market scan. Depending on the trader and the strategies they are utilising, they will normally start with a list of 8 – 10 currency pairs. The market scan will start with a simple Yes/No is there confluence across the different time frames for each strategy and this will move into more in depth analysis on each pair. Upon completion of their market scan each trader will know which currency pairs they can trade that day (i.e. which currency pairs are eligible based on each strategy for trading that day). This focuses our traders on a smaller number of currency pairs and means they are not distracted by other pairs which based on the strategy setup will not be available for trading that day.

After the market scan and before they start trading our traders will check what news is being released and at what time. When analysing news releases they will be focusing on three key factors of each release:

  1. The currency pairs this news release will impact
  2. The impact of the news release (i.e. high, medium, low)
  3. Previous and consensus figures expected

In our office we have Bloomberg TV on in the background throughout the day and another news source we keep an eye on is www.newsnow.co.uk. News Now consolidates news articles from many sources across the world and will automatically refresh so you are always up to date with the news.

Finally, trading days can be long, so make sure you take regular breaks to keep yourself fresh and keep your concentration levels high throughout the day. We encourage regular short breaks (e.g. 5 mins every hour or so) rather than less frequent longer breaks. Our breaks tend to be when we are not in trades that we are actively managing. Also, if you are worried about missing a potential position whilst on a break then set price alerts on your charts which you can link to your phone. This is a great way to keep in tune with the markets whilst not having to be in front of and checking your charts constantly.

Gregory McLeod, Trader/Founder of Elite Traders University

Things like NFP, Draghi, Brexit, inflation, interest rates, central banks, MACD, London Session, up trends, bulls; a data storm that bombards traders every day. All too often, traders become victims of “analysis paralysis” incurring significant losses.
So how does a trader manage all of the tasks necessary to make the best decisions that lead to greater profit? Here are three keys to Forex Trading Productivity:

  1. Focus on only a few important areas
  2. Have a trading plan and stick to it
  3. Create a routine for approaching the market that becomes second nature. This reduces the stress and confusion while allowing you to trade like a boss!

If you need help preparing to trade, please check out my Free Prepare to Trade Well Checklist.

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Achieve productivity for quality output

With plenty of information and trading activity coming in, it is important for traders to remain effective and acquire an engaged mindset. Increasing productivity can help boost proper planning and focused executions. When a trader is productive, this encourages quality output and builds better forex trading character. To optimize efficiency, learn from seasoned traders and their valuable tips to achieve productivity.

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Paula Rodriguez

Paula is Titan FX Content Manager. She loves all thing creative and draws inspiration from different fields of art and expression. Her need to communicate and express her work made her pursue her love of storytelling and writing. Paula writes about the forex trading lifestyle for Titan FX and has a special interest in the physical and psychological fitness, discipline, and determination required to be a successful trader.

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