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How to improve your focus as a Forex trader

We live in a world where distractions are everywhere and staying focused is becoming more of a challenge than ever. According to an article published in The Guardian, constant interruptions and distractions can have the same effect as the loss of a night’s sleep on your productivity and IQ.

If you are a scalper or day trader, keeping your mind in the trade and concentrating are essential factors of success and consistency. However, if you are here it means you are struggling with it and in today’s climate of 5 second attention spans, this is understandable.

Given below are some tips to help you improve your focus and a brief guide on how you need to apply that focus in order to become a more efficient trader.

Six tips to maintain focus

Here are some things that you should start doing immediately if you want to be more focused on the charts:

  1. Keep your phone away from yourself. Put yourself in time out and leave your phone in a different room if you need to.
  2. If you don’t want to turn off your phone or put it away, at least turn it to silent mode so you are not distracted by the pinging of random messages and notifications. Social media apps are programmed to get your attention back to them with unnecessary notifications.
  3. Don’t try to entertain yourself with music or a show on the TV. It does not help with concentration and some of your brain power will be occupied by that.
  4. Think out loud if you need to. When your brain feels muddled and the next steps don’t seem clear enough, it helps to say what you see and what you’re thinking out loud. It might sound crazy but it helps a lot of people focus and streamline their thoughts and analysis.
  5. Actively replace emotions with logic. Recognize when frustration or fear is making you lean towards entry or exit over sound logic and don’t fall for it.
  6. Meditate. There are a lot of people who swear by it and do it every day before trades to keep their mental composure and sharpen their focus.

How and where to apply your focus

  1. Broaden your scope of focus

Be wary of turning into a monomaniac and focusing only on one factor. For example you might be looking at a 15 minute chart while a 1 minute chart might be indicating a clear reversible.

It is not impossible for humans to give equal attention to multiple smaller parts of one big job at a time.

  1. Refresh focus with small breaks

Microbreaks have been seen to improve productivity and concentration, and reduce stress. It can also prevent getting an ergonomic injury.

Getting a glass of water or getting coffee, taking a short walk are all ways of taking microbreaks that you should make a part of your work regimen.

  1. Maintain the intensity of focus

You might have put your phone away but if you are just staring at the chart without really taking much in, this isn’t really focus.

You have to apply focus with intensity and be conscious of it. If you find yourself slipping or just can’t seem to get a handle on it, you can take a microbreak but with the intention of coming back to work with a better mind.

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