Time management is one of the most effective skills needed for a sustainable trading career. Making a living out of forex trading requires conscious management of both time and money. But unlike money, time spent cannot be taken back. With
realistic time saving strategies, you can be sure to make the most out of the day while improving efficiency.
Anyone can create a decent work schedule but not everyone can budget their time for optimized productivity. Based on the kind of lifestyle you want to achieve, a tactical time plot should be planned ahead of time. For full-time traders, organizing a schedule
will not be too difficult. If you are a part-time trader with a regular job, time management will be your best approach to prepare a convenient trading routine.
WHY ARE TIME SAVING STRATEGIES IMPORTANT?
Time is limited. There will never be enough time to get everything done. With a fast-paced 24 hour market, time spent to trade or analyze charts is most valuable.
Time is money. Finite and fleeting, time is priceless but it can also cost you. Make sure to plan a favorable schedule around only the most active trading hours.
Time is gold. Once you master time management, the time you spend will always be worthwhile. This skill will be one of your prized possessions.
Proper time management requires skill that eventually forms into a habit. In the long run, the habit of successful planning and execution is a valuable asset for any forex trader. It creates daily effectiveness without sacrificing extra hours for personal
errands or other responsibilities. If you have already tried the conventional ways to manage time,
here are uncommon time saving strategies that can boost output for a forex trader:
PARETO’S PRINCIPLE & THE 96 MINUTE RULE
“Do more of what is working and less of what is not.”
Also known as The 80/20 Rule, Pareto’s Principle is a theory examined by an economist named Vilfredo Pareto. He observed that 20% of the input invested will determine 80% of the output in any situation. According to Understanding the Pareto Principle (The
80/20 Rule), the Pareto Principle points out that a majority of results come from a minority of input.
80% of one’s success comes from 20% of initial effort
80% of profits is produced by 20% of investments
80% of decision-making is dictated by the 20% of time spent examining charts
By exercising the 80/20 guide and incorporating the 96 minute rule into your workflow, important tasks can be prioritized then optimized. Although traders don’t usually work within a 96 minute schedule, these guidelines are very helpful when determining
the right duration to achieve the most productivity.
To start applying Pareto’s principle, simply work on trial and error to find out which tasks produce the best results.
Note down 10 of the most important activities of the day.
Following the 80/20 rule, the top 2 activities are expected to produce 80% of results.
Dedicate your time to these tasks and see if there is an increase in quality output.
SMART TIME SAVING APPS
Planners and post-its are not enough to become highly productive. There are already plenty of different programs and devices dedicated to optimize time management. As much as the traditional to-do list and notepads have helped then, now is the time to take
advantage of software programs for more efficient time management.
There are a lot of time saving apps and productivity tools to leverage key tasks.
Here are some of the best apps to try:
Rescue Time. Since forex traders are used to analyzing market activities, why not study individual digital activity? Rescue Time ranks as one of the best apps for time management. It tracks activities and reports back on how you are spending
your time on the computer. With the use of alerts, productivity scores and highlights, you will be able to be aware and see an accurate view on your own efficiency for the day.
My Minutes. Perfect for the application of Pareto’s Principle, My Minutes is a straightforward personal task tracker that allows you to manage and budget your time. Whether it is for personal use or during trading, My Minutes aims to help
you reach your daily goals within the duration you specify. Not to mention, it also analyzes your performance and notifies you with motivating remarks.
Evernote. If you’ve ever needed more possibilities and data storage out of a productivity tool, Evernote is the right program for you. With more built-in features and systems, it is currently one of the most popular and effective apps out
there. Some of the benefits of using Evernote include: stores as well as organizes texts of any length; attaches audio or images for more visualization for the task; allows you clip and gather web pages or documents with a comment option.
For more productivity tools, you must also try Todoist and Mind42.
THE 4D’S for MINI-TASKS
Aside from the high priority task of the day, there are also minor responsibilities that need to be done. After deciding which activities are most profitable to you, it is now time to use the 4D’s on the mini tasks at hand. Based on the stress management
research of chartered psychiatrist Donaldson-Feilder, the 4 D’s of decision making help you go through these tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
DELETE - Is this task going to be worth your time? Will dropping this task affect overall quality of your work?
DEFER - Can this task be better accomplished on another day? Is it urgent enough to do now?
DELEGATE - Can this task be done only by me? Can I hire someone to complete this task?
DO! - If the task needs to be done now, can I do it?
The 4D’s can be applied in tasks for forex trading, reading emails or in your personal life. To get more out of the day, make sure to run through your notes with the 4D’s in mind.
How you perform during the first hour may be different after 3 hours of desk work. For a forex trader, energy management could be the most important time saving strategy.
Because most traders work during odd hours, managing your energy throughout the day is also key to successful time planning. Unlike time, energy depletes and can truly affect performance. According to The Science Behind Why Better Energy Management is the
Key to Peak Productivity, there are different times of the day where energy naturally decreases. In the morning, people tend to get sleepy every 90 minutes. While in the afternoon energy is lesser at 4:30PM and 11:30PM in the evening. Make sure to start studying
the time of day you feel most tired and incorporate this into a more productive schedule.
If you start to push yourself when you have low energy, you will risk having quality output and proper concentration. Here are the types of energy you need to be mindful of and how to go about it:
Physical Energy = Overall Health
How to manage:
Stay on top of your overall health. Get yearly check ups and visit your doctor for any concerns.
Eat the right food to stay energize. Do not eat processed or junk food. These do not keep you full for long and they do not give you the right amount of energy even if you are just on your trading desk
Get adequate amount of sleep. For more information, check out my blog: Best Practices for Better Sleep
Keep your body ready for movement by exercising and staying active. This is the best way to build and maintain physical energy throughout the day. Don’t forget desk exercises to avoid muscle strains from prolonged sitting.
Emotional Energy = Overall Mindset
How to manage:
Practice controlling negative emotions. This is important especially in a tense profession like forex trading.
For any unsolved problems or concerns, reach out to fellow traders via meetups or online forums.
Develop your own relaxation rituals to improve your mindset
Positive thinking is always a great way to control any unwanted emotional energy
A forex trader needs to update themselves with news, try new strategies, secure investments as well as study charts. All these require time and concentration. To be able to get quality work done on time, concentration is vital. To lessen distractions, the
best thing to do is to disconnect yourself and completely focus on the task.
How to disconnect:
Shut down Mail applications and stick to the proper schedule for answering emails.
Block access to all social media. Use apps like Freedom that prevents you from checking social media while working
Turn on Airplane Mode to entirely remove yourself from texts and calls
Use the Do Not Disturb option on your phone. This allows you to still receive texts and calls from important people
Don’t forget to logout from skype or any other chats programs on your computer
Do the same on your phone and go offline from apps like viber or whatsapp
For a productive career in trading, smart time saving strategies should be executed on a daily basis. Manage your time well and accomplish tasks that produce profitable results. Keep in mind that becoming a successful forex trader isn’t
about working more hours. It is about creating a quality trading schedule and tackling only medium to high value tasks. With time saving strategies, any forex trader can establish an efficient work routine together with a well-balanced personal life.