Trading from home, or just working from home, in general, can have its issues and it is something that a lot of people seem to struggle with. It is becoming easier and easier to trade at home, there are hundreds if not thousands of online brokers accepting retail clients, giving anyone with a computer, tablet or phone the opportunity to trade in the forex markets.
While it is fantastic that it is becoming so accessible, being able to trade from home does come with some downsides, both to you as an individual, your bank accounts and also your ability to focus on the job at hand. So we are going to be looking at some of the issues and challenges that people face with the ability and procedures of trading from home.
Access to Your Money
Trading from home rather than in an office has the downside that you are in your own space and anything that you are going to be trading will feel a lot more personal, due to this, it is often harder to differentiate between your own money and the money that you are using for your trading. It is very easy to get sucked into the idea that adding some of your own money could help you increase your profits. This is a dangerous game to go down, you need to be able to treat trading like a business, even when at home, this way you can protect your own money and will help you stop yourself from adding any of it to your trading funds.
Create an Office Space
When working or trading from home, it is paramount that you create a working space, an office space. It may sound like it defeats the point of working from home, but having that dedicated office space is important for a number of different reasons.
Having that dedicated space will allow you to differentiate between home life and work, it will allow you to remove a lot of the distractions that would otherwise be there if you decided to trade in the front room in front of the TV. Ensure that the office area has all your reading materials and everything that you need to keep you going and to get you started. Do not include things that could distract you, that would not be beneficial to your trading abilities. Remember, you are at home, but you are also working (or trading in this case).
Get Rid of Distractions
Working in an office is perfect for doing work, it has been designed in such a way that the number of potential distractions is kept to a minimum and they are able to completely remove some of them. When trading at home, you, unfortunately, are not in such an environment and so there may well be plenty of distractions still around. You can get rid of some of them by using our above tip of creating a dedicated office space, this will enable you to have an area of your house which is much more like an office environment.
Things like TV, people, and others are all there and available for you when at home, some of it will take a bit of self-discipline to stay away from, in terms of people though, make sure to inform them that you will be working during certain hours and so they should not come in and distract you. Give yourself set working times and set break times, use those break times to get on with whatever distractions that you are interested in, once your break is over, back to work until you allotted breaks or end time.
Take Breaks to Socialize
When you are at home you are probably socializing with those that live with you or over the internet, however, when working and trading at home we have already described how you need to cut that out during your working hours. So when you do have breaks, either before, during or after work, you should certainly use these times to socialize, it will keep your mind healthy and stop you from going mad from loneliness, so use those opportunities to socialize as much as possible.
Set a Schedule
Working and trading at home is fantastic, you can trade at whatever time you want, take a break whenever you want and if you feel like it, not trade at all. Wrong! If you want to trade and home and still be successful, you need to be able to treat it like a job, you need to set yourself some fixed trading and working tikes and then stick with them. Set a time that you will start in the morning, when your brakes will be and when you can finish in the evening and then tick to it. Of course, there may be things here and there that you need to leave the desk for, such as someone at the front door, but apart from that stick to these times.
This will teach you to stay disciplined and dedicated to trading, it will also help you adjust if you ever go back to the office. If you start to do it less and less, your dedication and motivation levels will drop.
Do Not Work or Trade Too Much
One thing that a lot of people struggle with is managing their time. When you are trading from home, it is very easy to get sucked into working longer hours or even loading up the charts in the middle of the night. This is something that you are going to need to train yourself not to do. It is not healthy to spend every waking minute on the charts and it is not healthy to wake up in the middle of the night to check out the charts. You need to be able to separate your social and home life to that of your working life. As soon as you clock out, that should be it for the day, it can be very tempting to want to just jump on for 10 minutes here and there, but that 10 minutes could very easily lead to hours. Once you have finished for the day, you are finished, there is no other way of keeping that healthy home and work balance.
For a lot of people, the majority of the time that they go out are part of their commute to and from work, when you work at home, you are missing out on that commute and that opportunity to go outside. Due to this, it is important that you are able to force yourself to go outside, even if it is just a 10-minute walk or to go shopping, getting out will really benefit your health and it will also help clear your mind of work. It is a way to completely disconnect from the work that you may not be able to do should you just walk from your office space to your living room.
If You are Sick, You are Sick
One thing that a lot of people seem to forget is that you are still working and still trading, even if it’s just for yourself. If you are not feeling well, then you need to take a sick day, the markets won’t be going anywhere, so if you do not well do not force yourself to trade. You are far more prone to making mistakes or taking shortcuts with your trading because you do not feel great or you are feeling too tired. If you are sick, take the day off, take the time to recover, when you come back you can then fully focus instead of trying to trade through the sickness and making mistakes.
Staying disciplined is vital to working at home, this is not in regards to simply avoiding distractions and working. If you work for someone else, you will most likely have some targets that you are required to meet. What happens if you do not meet them? There is probably some sort of performance review if you do really well there may be some kind of reward. You need to keep this mentality when at home too. If you feel that you are not doing well, evaluate what you are doing, and look at how you can improve. If you are doing well, give yourself a reward, a little time off, or a new pair of shoes, something that you would be looking forward to. What is important is that you are constantly evaluating what it is that you are doing so you can keep your productivity and performance levels up.
So those are some of the things that you are able to do that can help you to cope with the change to working from home. It can be a very difficult change for some and a change that can take a long time to adapt to. You need to show a lot of self-discipline in order to be successful with it and strong-willed in order to stick with it. For many, it would be a dream come true, but just take it seriously, plan your days and work times and working from home can give you a lot of freedom that so many people look for.