The time of the day you sit down to execute your trading plan can make all the difference to the way you trade and your outcomes.
My trading rules stipulate that I have a two and a half hour window during the European/London open and a two and a half hour window during the start of the US session in which I can trade my 5 minute price action scalping strategy. My back testing analysis and experience overtime has helped me to determine these windows as being the optimal time frame for my trading style.
Implement a trading window rule
Your window will depend on the type of trading you are doing, if you are a scalper you can probably achieve more in a shorter time-frame. If you are trading the 1 hour chart then your trading day will be drawn out over a longer period. However you trade you should consider implementing a “trading window” rule in your trading plan that stipulates the exact time you will sit down to do your trading. How you come up with your trading window is up to you. Maybe it’s set around your work/family commitments, maybe it is based on your analysis of the best time to trade your style/system. Pick a time of the day that allows you to be distraction free, focused on trading and works with your system.
How a window helps consistency
To allow ourselves to behave consistently when trading we need to have consistent structure in our trading business. Having a trading window enforces consistency of behavior by putting that structure in place. You know exactly when you are going to trade, there are no uncertainties. You know when you can relax and put trading to the side and you know when you are going into the market and need to switch on mentally. This structure allows you to live your day to day life with consistency and prepare each day in a consistent manner.
Consistency builds intuition
Being consistent in your trading time allows you to become an expert at reading the price action, market patterns and energy of the market during that specific time of the day. Seeing the market energy over and over again will feed our subconscious, allowing us to eventually use our intuition when executing our trading plans and therefore become more consistent as we step out of the way and intuitively trade. Consistency helps builds intuition, intuition allows for consistent behavior.
Take the good with the bad
Most trading days there are many opportunities for me to trade, most days I can interpret the market conditions and apply my trading system within my set trading time. However sometimes I will get a day or two where there are limited opportunities. The market is full of indecision and I struggle to read the market.
Having a trading window means you will get a balanced run of market conditions. For some people it might be useful for them to go chasing the market looking for the breakout conditions. But I prefer to take the good with the bad and know that the conditions will fluctuate but over time this trading window will allow me conditions to be consistently profitable.
Be consistent to have consistency
Do not tempt yourself by opening your trading platform outside of your set times, if you have to check the market or you are interested in what is going on then have a demo platform that you can open up. I prefer to stay away from the market when it’s not my time to trade, otherwise I eventually get burnt out from over stimulation.
If you can be consistent in your behavior you will eventually see consistency in your results.
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