This post features the notes for our video: “5 Must Know Tips for Building Better Trading Self Discipline”

Learning Objectives:

  • How to start building habits that lead to higher productivity.
  • How to manage your time and attention better to achieve task completion.
  • How you can make some very simple changes to improve your concentration

If we don’t take control of our mind, we will automatically revert to short term focused ‘instant gratification’. This includes things like social media, which give us a dopamine hit and keeps us hooked!

Here are 5 key points to help you out.

Key Point 1: Develop a habit in 66 days

It can be difficult to develop better self-discipline, as a lot of our undisciplined actions are habitual.

Studies show if you perform an activity daily for 66 days (on average) it will become a habit. If you miss one or two days, that’s fine… just keep going!

You may want to try the ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ technique. Download the PDF here and print it. You then need to write the habit you want to build onto the sheet and put a big red cross in the box for each day that you do the thing you want to develop. The idea is to keep the red crosses going and not break the chain by missing a day… simple, but effective!

Key Point 2: Structure your time to have full focus for each task

We recommend using the ‘Pomodoro Technique’. This works well when you are doing your preparation work or studying and practising. It would need to be adapted if you want to use it for your actual trading sessions.

Set a timer for 25 minutes and work solidly for that time. When the time runs out, have a 3-5 minute break (to focus on your distractions!) and then continue with the next 25 minute period. After 3-4 ‘pomodoros’ take a longer break.

You can use an online timer here: https://tomato-timer.com/

Or download an app for your phone: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-focused-focus-timer/id973130201?mt=8

Key Point 3: Focus on one activity at a time

If you multi-task or switch tasks often, you are just asking to get distracted! In fact, even switching tasks can severely affect our ability to perform that task to our best ability.

Instead, focus on one task at a time. Choose the task you want to do and then maybe use the Pomodoro Technique to get it finished.

If you schedule your day and have a ‘to do’ list, this will be much easier.

The book we referred to is The One Thing by Gary Keller.

Key Point 4: Make use of check-lists to keep yourself disciplined and avoid cutting corners

It’s so easy to try to find short-cuts around tasks, especially if you do them daily. In trading, there are many tasks we perform so often that they become second nature.

However, we need the self-discipline to ensure we complete all tasks properly and don’t cut any corners. Therefore, check-lists can be really helpful to keep us on track.

If you need to study a certain concept, make a check-list of the different things you need to do to learn that topic and then don’t stop or get distracted until each part of the check-list is complete.

Key Point 5: The secret to self-discipline and focus is in what you eat and drink!

Eating frequently means your blood sugar levels will be maintained. If your blood sugar levels drop, it can lead to your self-regulation systems working less efficiently.

Staying hydrated is critical. Even slight dehydration that we don’t necessarily notice, can lead to a severe drop in your brain function. Check out this website to see how well hydrated you are: https://www.h4hinitiative.com/tools/hydration-calculator


If you’re ready to learn to trade with your new found self-discipline, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE 4-part video mini-series. Just click here.