Coping with the boredom element


Although often exilarating, one aspect of day trading that I have struggled to adjust to is the aspect of boredom. Day trading is a lonely profession and can be monotonous and involves being available throughout market hours, often with very little to do for hours on end in between trading opportunities.
How do you cope with the monotony aspect of day to day day trading?

I have in the past been drawn to the internet and music as a means of filling in the gaps, but I avoid this now as it can be too big a disruption/distraction from trading. :rolleyes:

I have been in the trading business for a year now. Have more experienced day traders found that the issue of coping with boredom is something that you adjust/adapt to over time and pass through or can it be the opposite in that you find it harder to maintain discipline and focus?

Is it simply a stage or barrier that crops up every now and again?

How do you maintain focus, discipline and motivation?

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I don't find it monotonous, I find it addictive!
Seriously though, I have a WinTV card on one of the computers and can watch telly whilst still looking at the monitor and prices/charts. Also getting up walking around, or reading up about shares to buy or sell, research etc., soon fills up your mind.
Take a break now and again. The markets do have quiet periods during the trading day.

Go and cut the grass, take the dog for a walk, make a cup of tea, watch the re-run of last night's Corrie.......................
I do knitting and sewing, and sometimes read a book.

I have my monitors right at the back of a big desk, so I have plenty of room in front for a sewing machine, or a broadsheet newspaper.

Knitting is probably the thing I do most while trading, and I knit 28cm tall teddy bears which go off to babies and children in orphanages in 3rd world countries who have nothing. A bear is usually the first, and only, toy they ever get to call their own. Each one is unique with a brightly coloured jumper, scarf, and trousers and goes off in his/her own drawstring 'sleeping bag' which also doubles up as a carrying bag for all the child's possessions, if indeed they have any. My bears are all over the world and so far I've been able to help transform the lives of 183 children (at the last count).
exercise stepper/cycle in the office along with the trusted t.v does for me!.....+ the banter in the FX room whiles away the time....and of course research/study time, but yes jtrader, there are times when it just simply becomes tedius! - all part of the 'lonliness of the long distance trader' I guess :cry:
Well done Skim, I also try to help by sponsoring third world children from childhood to 18 years of age and got the idea once when I was less than fully active.

That is something very worthwhile to do with your time Skimbleshanks!
Oh and another thing I don't tire of watching... the £s going up!
I have been trading for some time mainly using 5 minute charts and I find that I sit around twiddling my thumbs for ages just waiting for the charts to give me the right formations.

Yes, it is boring as hell and while Mr Charts etc clobber about 100 points before 2.32pm, I am still sitting there at 3.15pm waiting for my first trade. Apart from the boredom it is highly irritating to think I have lost out on trades during what is usually the busiest part of the day as far as price action is concerned.

I am now looking at using 1 minute charts for the first 30 to 45 minutes and I believe that this will get me more active in the market much earlier, reduce the boredom, hopefully make some faster money ( or faster losses ) and then quit for the day earlier than usual.

Anybody got any comments about the wisdom, or otherwise, of this approach ?
Dow Dog -

I trade using a 1min chart and sometimes its a bit of a double edged sword : you think it will give you the edge sometimes, and sometimes it does. Other times, whilst I'm sizing up the R/R ratio, the market just ups and offs, and in those instances it would have been clearer on a 5min chart. I rarely get caught trading noise now as I've had a few expensive lessons, but trading 1min does generate a fair bit of it, both in indices and FX. But just like you, I find myself sitting there some days at 3.15 thinking "Hmm, I really ought to have gone short/long/flat there". You're not alone!

What I tend to do now, if I'm trading say, YM futures, is run a 5min S&P chart on the other monitor. That way I get a bit of a clearer, long term picture whilst still having my 1min noise maker churning away - thats helped on occassion.

So far today? 1 winner, 1 loser, both taken on a 1min whilst watching for confirmation / exit signal on the 5min.
I post on T2W. How original is that!!!

Other than that, if I get really board, I just walk away from the markets. Trading when not in the mood for it is the way to the poor house.
If you get your data linked to a PDA and carry that around with you you could go to the gym and still control your account. Or maybe even automate it.
Spend the time researching and testing new trading ideas or improving the methods that you are currently using.

Trading should be dull and unexciting, you are simply following your pre-determined rules. It's developing new and better trading ideas that is the fun bit and which should take up most of your time.
Good point Sid.

Also reviewing past trades - learning, learning....
Thanks for your comments Rossored. I spent hours yesterday going over 1 minute charts and comparing them to both 3 and 5 minute charts and the story is completely different.

I see what you mean about noise. There are plenty of trading opportunities with the 1 minute charts but I guess the trick is not to be bounced out of the trade by noise before the true exit point arrives. I am looking at using 1 minute charts for entry and 3 minute charts for the subsequent management of the trade including the exit.

I reckon I will be much more active in the market, hopefully more profitable and certainly a lot less BORED.

For me BOREDOM usually equates to eventual losses because BOREDOM breeds irritation and irritation breeds impatience, which causes me to enter trades wrongly.
If you aspire to become a trader you have to learn to make certain sacrifices, which in themselves are not sacrifices at all, since it is a better proposition to be trading effectively than out there opening the road.

1st sacrifice:~ early nights.

2nd:~ no alcohol.

3rd:~ self enforced isolation.

4th:~ cultivation of serenity.

You must be pin sharp. If you are not pin sharp you cannot be effective.

The idea of self enforced isolation for most ordinary people is surprisingly very difficult.

This is because in ordinary life one is surrounded by people, events, noises, movement,
speech, and what is required here is so different and indeed opposite, that it feels abnormal.

You have to train yourself to be like this if you ever hope to acquire a true trader's mindset, and not
what you think (an idealised opinion) of what you think it ought to be or could be.

People who are not traders never understand. The are apt to barge in, interrupt, ask silly questions,
make irrelevant comments, and so on. If you want to succeed, you have to learn to keep them out.

It is not their fault that they do not understand. But it is your fault if you let them upset your environment.

When you master "the game", it can never be boring. There are periods of inactivity you must fill with
something else that is not related. If you do not fill them the market will fill them for you, badly.

This is because you have to mature in your understanding of what it is you are in.

In ordinary life you would expect to have a schedule, if not a regular scedule at least a variable schedule.

In this business there are no schedules of this sort, so you have to create your own, in order not to feel guilty about your inactivity, so as not to be sucked in as a consequence.

The schedules you must choose must not conflict. I will explain.
You must do something that does not stimulate you to do what you should not be doing.

It must be something totally divorced from the screens, that is neither competitive, performance orientated, or driven by remuneration of any sort.

It is also a very good idea to change environment periodically when all is quiet, but without dereliction
of the main task in hand.

This means also do not put on a position without a stop and then go and mow the lawn, because this is
really asking for grief.

Give a bit of time to yourself or others in short bursts in the form of breaks.

You will then find it easier to hold your attention when you need to.