If you’re a stock trader or any profession where you work from home and find yourself in a slump, consistently losing money, I have some advice for you. Stop what you’re doing right now and take some time off. Myself and many other traders (or anyone who works from home) will tell you that they love what they do so much that they don’t realize how much they are working.
For most people, working more usually means making more money..
For traders though its a bit different. It can be hours of study and research with no guarantee of immediate payment (sometimes a loss!). I talk to traders who wake up every morning at 5am and they work till late at night, researching and studying. Add to the fact that most of us work from home and its really hard to draw a line in the sand of when to walk away.
Take a moment and think about how much you’re working, and are you making enough money to “compensate” your time. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Eventually exhaustion sets in, your mind gets foggier, you’re not thinking clear and you start making mistakes. It’s like playing sports, becoming overly tired will effect how you’re going to perform.
We have to take time to reset and clear our minds…
I realized the importance of this when I decided to take some personal time recently. Up until then, any time I took off, I was still working. Working from the car, in a hotel room, when visiting friends and family at holidays…I was always working. What resulted was my mind becoming totally useless. My moods became horrible, I didn’t feel like doing anything, always avoiding friends. It was beginning to effect my home life. The constant struggle of proving that I can be successful at this risky career move. My trading suffered, lack of focus and patience, lead me to continued losses.
I stepped away from it all and took some me time to reflect…
It honestly saved me from a downward spiral that I couldn’t even realize I was in. I started looking at some of my trades and thinking I was completely out of my mind. The friends I hadn’t talked to in months and the attention I wasn’t giving to myself or my partner was slowly killing me inside and everything around me.
When I returned after about a week off…
I was renewed and feeling better than ever. My poorly managed trades were in the past, I made amends with some of my friends and went out and truly enjoyed my time off without thinking about the “next trading day”. I also realized how important it is to force yourself to break away from the noise and leave work in the office. Working from home is a blessing and a curse. Most dream of it because you can stay in your pjs all day and work when you want to, which is hard to do when the weight of supporting your family is on your shoulders. The truth is, most of us who work from home are only successful if they are truly dedicated to their craft and have tons of self discipline, and with that comes a whole other part of managing your personal life with work.
Don’t wait for extreme moments in life that force you to reflect…take time for yourself often and do it soon! You’ll thank me.