Cliff Wachtel's  Instablog

Cliff Wachtel
Send Message
Cliff Wachtel, CPA, is currently the Chief Analyst of, a leading binary options broker, and Director of Market Research, New Media and Training for, a fast growing forex and CFD broker. He is also the author of The Sensible Guide To Forex, and publisher of... More
My company:
My blog:
Global Markets
My book:
The Sensible Guide To Forex: Safer, Smarter Ways To Survive & Prosper From The Start
    Dec 31, 2013 2:57 PM

    16 New Year's Resolutions For A More Rewarding Year

    The following is a partial summary of the conclusions from the weekly analysts' meeting in which we share thoughts about what's driving major global asset markets.

    The Xmas and New Year holiday season means that markets go quiet, so current news stories of note become scarce or non-existent. For financial writers that means we seek out 'big picture' topics like:

    1. Reflections on the prior year and forecasts for the coming year.

    2. Ways to improve performance in the coming year, mistakes we learned to avoid, etc.

    The following is a variation on #2 (still working on the forecasts).

    Over the past few months I've been reading Eric Barker's blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, which focus on on life and career lessons, and a few recent posts served as the inspiration (and sometimes source, along with those from The Sensible Guide To Forex, winner of 2013's Best Forex Book Award) for the following collection of trader productivity tips

    Much of the following is all about

    · Maintaining or increasing your peak hours

    · Minimizing the things that reduce these

    Some of the following are obvious, some are not. All are worth reviewing, and integrating into your list of highest yield New Year's resolutions


    Part 1 is all about exploiting and extending the time when your energy, mind, and mood are at their best.

    1. Match Your Best Hours To Your Most Demanding Tasks Of The Day

    If you don't have that much control over your schedule, then do what you can to move your peak hours to the hours of those tasks.

    The Principle

    Maximum productivity means organizing your tasks around your best hours. Match up the most demanding of your most important tasks of the day to the hours when you have the most energy. Allocate the second most demanding and important tasks to your next best hours, and so on.

    The Explanation

    Energy, not time, is the key to top performance.

    Working on time management skills will yield limited results without considering that for humans, unlike machines, all hours are not equally productive.

    Know if you're a morning or night person. Few of us have more than 3-5 peak hours a day. If you need more, experiment with nap length and scheduling. Learn how well your body responds to coffee, tea, and other available stimulants can extend those hours, both with and without a nap. Use these with discretion. Many of us find that these are more like taking loans on energy that must be repaid. We also build tolerances to these, which limits their long term benefits if they're overused.

    Most of us with jobs don't have full control over when those most important and demanding tasks come, so it's up to us to make sure we've had the right combination of sleep and simulants


    I reserve trading or investing decisions for hours when my mood and energy are good. I might do research, trade diary review and entries, during less productive hours, but final review of decisions to enter positions, and order placement, waits for those hours.

    I use the non-peak times for less demanding and less critical tasks like:

    · Responding to emails

    · More enjoyable ones that I'm more motivated to do even when tired

    Applying It

    Identify the most demanding tasks of your day and do whatever you can to turn hours available for them into your peak hours.

    See here for the rest of the post.


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Back To Cliff Wachtel's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (0)
Track new comments
Be the first to comment
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers


More »

Latest Comments

Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.