Struggling to find the time to trade? You aren’t alone - many traders with other full-time jobs can find it difficult to fit trading in around their family, jobs and other commitments.
It can be hard to juggle everything at once, so it’s all about effective time management skills and making trading work for you. Here are our top tips on fitting trading around your day job!
1. Figure out how often you want to trade
This is the first step. Not only is this good to solidify your plans, but it’s also good for envisaging the end goal and your trading ambitions. It is, in other words, something to work towards - a good motivator! So ideally, how often would you like to trade?
The key to this answer is being as realistic as possible, taking small steps. In an ideal world you might like to trade full-time, but this will take a long time to build up to, so start from where you are. Realistically, how often would you like to trade, and how much time can you spend on it? Would it be great if you had a few hours per week? Or two afternoons a week?
Figuring out how often you would like to trade is key for fitting trading in around your day job: once you know what you’re aiming for, it’s easier to stick to.
2. Calculate how much free time you have
This is a key next step - and where your ideal trading time may scale down slightly. Start thinking about how much time you have for trading each week. If you work part-time, it’s relatively simple to dedicate some of your days off work to trading. However, if you have a full-time job, weekdays are difficult - so it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.
This is where it pays to be clever with your time. If you know you have a few hours spare every Thursday night, for example, you could use that time. If you have a longer lunch break on Fridays, take your laptop to a cafe with a good internet connection. Do you have any regularly free evenings? Or do you have time in the mornings to wake early and trade?
Once you figure out how much time you realistically have to trade every week, make yourself a plan. For example, you might decide - if your goal is to trade several hours a week - to trade for an hour or so one evening and one morning per week. It’s all about making trading work for you, so make it manageable. You can always change your trading routine if need be!
3. Manage your time effectively
Google Calendar, phone calendars and diaries are your friends! However you usually plan your meetings or other commitments, make sure you plan your time effectively so that you know how to structure your routine.
Fill out your calendar with blocks of trading time - and you could even set reminders on your phone if you’re likely to forget your plans (or if you’re the type to insist, I’ll do it tomorrow!) This also works as a good motivator, too: once you see your time blocked out for trading, you will be less tempted to do anything else or procrastinate!
4. Work out how you trade best
In order to trade to the best of your abilities, you’ll need your brain to be as switched on as possible. So ask yourself: are you the most focused in the mornings after your first coffee? Or do you work best in the evenings once you’re relaxed and home from work?
It might take some practice to work out when trading is best for you: try experimenting with different trading sessions - some mornings, some lunch hours, some evenings - to figure out which works best for you. You’ll find it easier to trade when you’re working in collaboration with your natural body clock - so once you know when you’re most switched on, try to carve out this space for trading.
5. Be ready to commit
Trading is not easy: it takes time, discipline and commitment. With a full-time job, family commitments and a social life, trading becomes even more difficult - which is to say that you need to really want to do it. If you’re struggling to fit in time to trade to your regular routine, it’s worth asking yourself how much you want to trade, and how seriously.
This can work as a good motivator to remind yourself of your ambitions. If you’re looking to trade less seriously, maybe you don’t need to trade every week in order to find fulfillment with it - but if you’re aiming to make a steady income from your profits, you’ll need to dedicate a little more time to it, so it’s worth being honest with yourself about your ambitions.
It may be that, instead of squeezing trading into your already pretty packed schedule, you need to cut down on some leisure time elsewhere. Could you cut down on some social time a little? Or swap one weekly hobby for this one? Or one gym session? However your schedule looks, assess it honestly and you’ll be surprised to find pockets of extra time available.
Want to know how a bigger forex account can benefit you? Read our blog, 3 Reasons to Grow Your Account.