First let me wish you a Happy 2021! Here’s to a fresh start and getting past a very strange year.

If you’ve been trading for a few years maybe you’ve had this vague feeling like trading has been getting a bit harder… Are you hallucinating? What gives?

I can tell you that things are tougher than ever and it doesn’t have anything to do with what you might think. It’s nothing to do with strategies all of a sudden becoming obsolete. The hidden culprit is a loss of the ability to focus for long period of times. Without this ability it’s very hard to see trading setups. Even more so when your watching a lot of markets and multiple time frames. A few quick facts…

  • In 2000 the average attention span was 12 seconds.
  • In 2015 the average attention span was 8.25 seconds.
  • The average attention span of a GOLDFISH is 9 seconds.

This means we now have less of an attention span than a freaking goldfish! A few more facts… 

  • An average office worker checks their emails 30 times each hour.
  • The average user picks up their phone more than 1500 times a week – taking up to an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes a day.
  • An average user will read at most 28% of the words on a web page.
  • An average user will leave a web page in 10-20 seconds.
  • The average adult spends 38 minutes a day on Facebook.
  • 16-24 year old’s spend 3 hours a day on social media.

Because so much time is spent on social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok it creates a rapid-fire jumping from one image or sound-bite over and over. The reason is that it provides instant gratification and jolt of dopamine to the brain. This is a feel good hormone and highly addictive. And the bad news is the more we consume social media the more we’re addicted to it.

In fact if you try to get away from it you’ll probably feel depressed. To really trade with consistency you need to be able to focus 100% without distractions. If your watching the charts and think, “ok nothing happening for the moment so let me check my twitter feed for a minute”, you just shot yourself in the foot because you’ve removed your flow and focus with the market.

I also find that getting distracted for even just 5 minutes can result in me missing a great setup. Very frustrating because when I reviewed the trade afterwards, I realized all the signals for a good trade were there but I simply missed them because of my lack of focus.

So what’s the answer?

You need a SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX… The easy way to do this is have a plan like…

1. I’ll only check my emails once a day at a certain time or just once in the morning and once at night.
2. I’ll only allow myself 30 minutes of social media on a Saturday and Sunday.
3. I’ll keep my TV watching to just 1 hour a day.

This will benefit you greatly…

1. You’ll start breaking your addiction to the Dopamine Hit which will over time help build up your attention span.
2. You’ll remove the distractions that have been causing you to not being in sync with the rhythm of the markets.
3. You’ll avoid making unnecessary mistakes.
4. You’ll avoid missing opportunities.
5. You’ll be able to time your entries and exits much better.
6. You’ll feel more calm, confident and control.
7. You’ll start seeing proof that you actually can be a good trader. 8. You’ll have way more time to develop skills and learn new things that will actually improve your life.

Anyway I hope this sets you on a better path for 2021 and beyond…

Jeff

Since 2003 I’ve written 5 books on trading and taught over 14,000 students in more than 73 countries. I love sharing my knowledge and I’ve found by accident that mentoring others actually helped me become a more profitable trader.