When you get into the zone it is a fantastic feeling, everything seems to work and you have 100% of your focus on the task at hand, it is what people strive for, not just with trading but with pretty much anything in life, when you need someone done, getting into the zone makes it incredibly easy and quick to complete.
More often than not, we don’t actually know how to get into that zone, it just seems to happen, it’s not always something that you are able to force, people try, but that can often result in you trying too hard and thus missing out on the zone and even potentially making some mistakes from that strong desire to get into it.
Once you manage to get into it, it is important to try and stay in it, it can be quite easy to fall from that zone, you can be knocked out of it by someone else, you can get distracted or you can simply lose steam. So we are going to be looking at ways and things that you can do to help you to stay in the zone for as long as possible and so that you can be as productive as possible.
There is something called recency bias, in the back of your head, your past experiences and your past results will be sat there haunting you, especially if the majority of your most recent events are negative and losses. Understandably, if you are constantly thinking of the negatives and your losses, your confidence will take a hit, and this is something that can be quite hard to get over. Unfortunately, this is a major killer for those that have entered into the zone, as soon as you have thought about your previous losses, you will be taken straight out of the zone and will be back at 1st base.
Confidence is something that needs to be built up over time, it can’t be created overnight and can take some people years to have real confidence in their trading abilities. It will come with time and it will come with consistency, the more consistent your results are, not on a day to bay basis but on a monthly basis, if you are consistently profitable at the end of the month and you fully understand your strategy (that there will be losses and wins) then those little losses along the way will have a much smaller effect on your confidence levels.
You can help to build our confidence yourself, things like keeping to a routine is a fantastic way, if you do something a lot of times and make it a requirement, you will become good at it which will, in turn, improve your confidence on that aspect of your trading. Simply being optimistic can help, for some, this is easier than it is for others, but setting targets that are achievable, putting up reminders of your successes can help motivate and give confidence as they are a reminder that you can be successful.
Control Stress Levels
Stress is something that can instantly take you out of the zone, stress can cause you to completely lose track of what you were doing and can cause you to focus on completely the wrong things. Being able to control your stress levels is far easier said than done, it is a powerful emotion that often shows its head if things are either moving too quickly or shortly after a loss or string of losses.
Stress can however also be used to your advantage, stress can actually make things exciting, it can keep you on your toes and can make you want to do more, that rush will keep you focused. The problem is that stress can very easily get the better of you, so you need to be able to keep your stress levels at an appropriate level, you cannot remove it, nor should you try, but have some measures in place just in case it tries to take over completely.
Distractions are one of the main things that can take you out of the zone, think about how many times you have been concentrating on something and then you hear something on the TV that makes you focus on that, or someone comes in and tries to talk to you, or simply something shiny in the corner of the room catches your eye. It is important that you get an idea of what sort of things more easily distract you, each person can be distracted by different things so it is important that you get to know what it is that can more easily distract you.
Once you manage to work out what they are, being able to remove them from your trading zone is important, get rid of them from your zone. This does not mean that your office needs to just be a computer and a desk, you can have things in there, in fact, you need things in there that make you feel calm and make you feel comfortable, but the things that you have identified as your main distractors need to be removed. The worst thing that can happen when you are in the zone is for something simple and something silly to distract you and to take you out of that zone, as we all know that you won’t be getting back into it any time soon after coming out of it.
When we talk about preparation, we aren’t just talking about preparing for each trading session, we are more talking about the preparation that you need to put into your overall trading. Your trading plan is one of the major parts of this, if your plan has been properly laid out and is clear, then it will be far easier for you to not only initially follow it, but to learn it by heart, doing this allows you to be able to focus fully on it, to perform your actions and analysis quicker and this can ultimately help you get into the zone as a more regular occurrence.
Being prepared also helps you to remain calm which can help to reduce the stress that we mentioned earlier in this article. Having everything ready, your plan, your workstation, and the room, can really make a difference when it comes to getting into the zone and then staying in it.
Getting into the zone can be difficult, but it can be even more difficult to stay in it for more than a few minutes, but if you have things prepared, you know what you need to do and you can avoid the distractions, you should be able to stay in it for a far longer period of time which can help you to become a fantastic and very successful trader, just remember that being in the one does not happen all the time and that you cannot force it, so just enjoy it when it does eventually happen.