Is Your Trading Environment Right For You?
Sit down at your trading station and take a look around you. Pause for a moment and think about your environment. Is it clean and neat? Cluttered and chaotic? Do you trade at home or on the go? Is your environment predictable? Do you talk to other people while you are trading, online or offline? Are there frequent interruptions? Noise, music, silence? How many windows do you have open on your desktop? Are you connected to Skype while trading?
It can really pay off to take the time to analyze not just how you trade, but where, when, and under what circumstances. There are two main aspects to your trading environment: concrete and virtual. Your concrete environment is the world around you, your physical reality. Your virtual environment is the environment on your computer screen or your mobile device. If you can optimize both, you can optimize your binary options trading.
Your Physical Environment
There is no single best way to organize your trading environment. It is important to realize when you are embarking on this task that how you organize your environment is going to be specific to you. Somebody else’s perfect setup might not suit you at all, and might result in your mind being cluttered and unfocused. Your optimal setup will not necessarily suit someone else. This is much like choosing a trading method or an asset to trade or any other aspect of trading. Everything is filtered through your personality.
A good way to start may be to take stock of environments where you work well on other tasks. Think about how your workplace, your home office, places you may have studied when you were in school, and areas where you work on personal projects (garages, basements, coffee houses, etc.). Which features of those environments did you like? Which did you find distracting or annoying?
Consider the following:
- Noise level and types of noises. Do you prefer music, silence, white noise, chatter?
- Public vs. private environments. Do you work best when you are given solitude, or do you function better in a crowded setting? Would you prefer to have family or friends around you as you trade, or not? Do you prefer working in your own room or home, or in a public environment like a library or coffee house?
- Clutter vs. cleanliness. Most people work best if their surroundings are clean, clutter-free and offer them plenty of space. Physical space becomes mental space, allowing for clean, clear thoughts. This is not the case for everybody, though! Some people work better if they have some clutter around them. The clutter may make them feel comfortable and relaxed, and may even keep them focused in other ways.
Your Virtual Environment
These days, the concept of “environment” goes beyond the obvious dimension of the physical to incorporate your virtual setting. The most basic decision you have to make about trading when it comes to your virtual environment is whether or not to trade on a mobile device. Mobile trading apps are very popular, since they allow you to easily trade on the go. Then again, you can still trade in a library, coffee house, or other wi-fi hotspot on your laptop.
Some people do not like the tiny screens on their smartphones, and want a larger screen where they can more easily analyze trades and setups. Other traders still find ways to combine mobile trading and desktop trading. They might plan their trades on their desktops and execute them on their mobile devices. Here are some other aspects of your virtual trading environment to think about:
- What is on your desktop when you trade? Do you have a lot of windows open, or do you keep only your trading platform and charting software windows open? Are they arranged in such a way that you can easily see everything you need to on demand? Do you have non-trading-related windows and applications open? Do these distract you, or are they in the category of “helpful clutter?”
- Is your charting software set up in such a way that you can easily spot trade setups and evaluate them? Do the colors provide plenty of contrast and communicate to you easily what is going on with the market? Do your indicators communicate information to you, or do they confuse and distract you with competing and contradicting messages? Is there anything you could do to improve that aspect of your trading environment?
- Noises are something to evaluate with your virtual environment too. Does your desktop have sounds enabled? What about your trading software or charting software? Do you have helpful sound alerts? Or do you find noises distracting?
- Make a decision about social applications as well. For some people, it is a good idea to stay connected to the world while trading. Social trading is becoming a hot new trend, where traders share their trades in real-time on a trading wall, and watch other peoples’ trades. For some traders, this may be helpful; for others, it could be a major distraction. Trading forums are another social outlet which may help some traders and not others while they are actually in the process of placing a trade, or watching a trade that is ongoing. Some traders post their trades while they are in progress. Others find this incredibly distracting. Also ask yourself whether you should be connected to applications like Skype or GTalk while trading.
Don’t Ignore The Fourth Dimension – Time!
When we think about environment, we often think about three-dimensional space, and what we can see, hear, and feel. But time is an important aspect of environment as well. The time of day you trade can have an impact on your results. Most of us have a time of day when we are most alert and able to focus, when we are really at our best. Try and figure out what time of day (or night) that is for you. If you work best in the morning, then trade in the morning when you can. If you focus best at night and enjoy a burst of energy when the sun sets, maybe that is when you should be trading binary options.
As human beings, we are constantly not only molding our environments to mirror our minds, but also being changed by the world around us. The environment you trade in will have an impact on your bottom line, one way or another. When there is harmony between your inner state and your outer world, and when both contribute to a positive feedback loop, you perform at your best.