I want to take a break in trading - is this normal?
Recently, in our VK group, one trader asked me the question: "Is it normal if I do not trade for a couple of weeks? Will the skill be lost?"
Which made me write this post. Today we will talk about the importance of interruptions in trading, work, business .... in any business) We will figure out how to work properly, how it is most useful to relax, how often it is worth taking a vacation, why people are not robots and how to activate the secret weapons of our brain - Default Mode Network.
The more you work, the better, is that so?
Being busy is fashionable.
Imagine a trader who at breakfast studies the upcoming news and fundamental analysis for today, then trades until noon, during lunch he watches video tutorials on trading or reads books on psychology or programming, if he needs to go out somewhere, he listens to audio books along the way or trainings, during the day, along the way, answers several dozen messages in the mail and on social networks, checks bots on VPS, etc. etc.…
What do you think of him? What is mega effective?
But no. He is a creative impotent. Robot. Moody office shit. He is not able to give birth to any sensible NEW idea, only to carry out routine functions.
Why? Because WE ARE NOT ROBOTS. The behavior model described above is effective for a computer, for an android, but not for Homo Sapiens. We have other algorithms.
If you think that to work hard and be efficient before figs will lead you to success, then I hasten to disappoint you. That garbage that is taught in personal effectiveness trainings will only make you a more effective SLAVE performing routine tasks. This will not help you much, because in the future, such workers will still be replaced by automated devices.
If you are just like me, too logical, and only scientifically proven facts can convince you, keep a list of scientific studies, the general conclusion from which is simple: you need to rest and work for many hours a day - this is not the best idea ....
How cool ideas come
For cool ideas to come, you need LOT of free time. And more precisely, the time at which you are not busy with your main activity.
Everyone who periodically plays video games is familiar with the following situation: in the evening you reached a difficult section in the game (for example, Boss), and you try many times - you can’t go through this section. In the end, you leave this venture and go to bed. And the next day, when you sit down again for the game ... go through this section almost on the first try.
Do you think this is an accident? No. This is the work of the so-called Default mode network (hereinafter - DMN) or, in the translation of the Network of the passive mode of the brain. It is this thing that allows us to solve complex problems and generate cool ideas.
The fact is that when we are not doing anything, we do something that does not require attention, for example: we go in transport, wash dishes, brush our teeth, walk along the street - our brain goes into Passive mode and processes the available information on the issue, which we care. But we do not suspect this)
We all know the feeling that the idea came “out of nowhere” when we took a shower or walked in the park. Richard Bach even called these phenomena “fairy soul” and “fairy walks”. In fact, no fairies exist, and the ideas that came to us during activities that do not require active attention are the result of the work of the brain. And this is not a miracle, but a feature of our brain, which is a sin not to use.
For those who think it's nonsense, links to research:
A short video explaining how the Default Mode Network works (in English):
So how do you activate the "secret weapon" of our brain?
- First you need to get the necessary amount of information on the issue that interests you. Otherwise, the brain will have nothing to work with. For example, you learned a strategy on the forum by reading a 100-page branch line. More than enough)
- You don’t have to worry about anything: you should not rush to work / meetings, you should not have a list of 100,500 cases, a million unanswered messages about business, etc. That is, it should be the so-called "free time", ideally - a day off;
- Engage in some kind of routine activity - it’s possible to clean up the garage, take a walk in the park, go to the gym, run on the track (you can’t watch / listen to anything that needs attention), etc. Moreover, what is important, NOT THINKING OF THE PROBLEM in general;
- Information will be digested, understanding and / or ideas will come;
The scheme is not perfect, it does not always work “by order”. But it works) And yes, to activate DMN more often, you need a lot of free time. This is how our brain works, whether you like it or not.
Yes, by the way, there are studies that prove that regular meditation helps to strengthen the work of DMN.
Therefore, if you suddenly consider yourself ineffective when you are not busy with anything “on business”, think again.
How to work
Midday. About 2-3 hours in the afternoon you feel tired, the brain is not working as actively as in the morning and you want to take a nap ....
This is normal? More than. We were all taught to a more or less conscious age to sleep at night, and to stay awake all day. But this is not the best habit for our mental health, and certainly our ancestors did not sleep that way.
People in the pre-industrial era, when there was still no electricity, fell asleep at about 8 pm, then at about 2 o’clock in the morning they woke up for a couple of hours, were engaged in creativity, smoked, copulated, went to visit neighbors .... and then went to bed again until morning (nYou can read more about this in the book of Roger Eckerch.).
A similar story occurs during the day. The fact is that our brain prefers to fall asleep and wake up more often than 1 time per day. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. - the so-called “Nap Zone”, a time period ideally suited for daytime sleep. It is known that the ancient Romans in the first century BC loved to take a nap during the day, they called such breaks Meridiari, then they began to call them Sexta (the sixth hour, according to their measurement), but the word Sexta eventually transformed into Siesta. Anyone who has been to Spain knows that during a siesta practically nothing works during the day - everyone is resting.
In China during the day, workers, including in many offices, sleep for about half an hour. If you are Chinese and doze off in the workplace after lunch, no one will fire you or write you a fine.
Many studies show the positive effects of short sleep throughout the day. Concentration, mindfulness improves, you can do more things.
An interesting fact is that a 10-minute sleep is most effective. After it there is no period of "drowsiness", as after 20-30 minutes, and, at the same time, the same positive effect remains as from a half-hour rest.
We move on. The following interesting clues are given to us by a 30-year study of prominent people in their fields - musicians, athletes, writers, etc.
Key number 1: To show outstanding results at the limit of possibilities is possible only about an hour without rest. It is worth taking note of scalpers who are closely watching the market. Traded an hour - take a break.
Key number 2: people who have achieved outstanding results in their disciplines practice / practice on average about 4 hours a day. An increase in load time only leads to burnout and injury (in the case of athletes). Therefore, trading in the amount of more than 4 hours a day - it makes little sense.
And of course - the most effective interval from morning to lunch. If you have any business that requires utmost care and concentration - it is better to do it in the morning.
If you summarize all of the above, then:
- The most important thing is to do in the morning;
- Work hard, at the limit of possibilities, it is possible without rest for only about an hour - do not hesitate to take short breaks;
- It is pointless to practice trading / music / sports for more than 4 hours a day;
- In the interval between 14 and 16 hours it will be nice to allocate 15-20 minutes for a short sleep;
- It’s better not to have lunch at home - go to the nearest cafe, maybe during this time DMN is activated a couple of times (read above in the block about ideas). And please do not stare at your smartphone while eating.
P.S. An important note - if you entered the stream and you are wildly rushing about something, you do not need to stop through force. If you test the new system with burning eyes before 1 a.m., this is a good sign)
How to relax and how often to take a vacation
The best way to relax is something involving physical and mental activity, with a deep immersion in the process. For example: climbing, drawing, golf (it is not for nothing that Donald Trump recommends it in one of the books).
The task is to completely disconnect and not think about routine / work / trading, etc.
Of course, if you are wildly tired - sleep, watch TV shows, play video games - to your health. When there is no corny physical strength, this is also suitable.
I won’t tell you about regular fitness classes - everyone already knows that this is vital. The only moment - the next time you go to pull the bar, you know - initially the human body was created to run away from the cheetah and climb onto the apple tree, and all diseases associated with joints appeared in the agrarian era, when people began to pick their asses in the ground and drag them up heavy tubs with water. And, perhaps it is worth focusing more on athletics, instead of show-offs with kettlebells.
As for vacation - in general, scientists agree that it should ideally be approximately one week every three months. Hard work or trading without days off and holidays will only lead to health problems. All the same, you won’t earn all the money ...
I understand that not everyone can apply the above recommendations. But if this post made you at least think about how important rest and breaks in work and trading are, then I wrote it for good reason. For a long time I myself thought that being constantly busy with something was cool and cool, I even sometimes felt guilty during the weekend or when I did nothing “on business,” but as it turned out, there was nothing to feel guilty about - Without rest and breaks, productivity is simply not possible.
Remember: The market will be here tomorrow too. And if you feel that you want to take a break from trading for a day / week / month - go for it. Nothing terrible will happen, on the contrary - during this time you will probably come up with new, cool ideas on how to improve your trading.