A List of Our Fav Superhero Trading Tips to Avoid the Burnout
“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”
So, you’re a superhero. You have started down a path of successful trading while, simultaneously holding down a day job. But, beware of the burnout. You may be young, but youth is fleeting—even more so, if you place yourself on the burnout path. You’re hitting everything hard. But, like ‘90s drugs, the crash can be even harder. Even superheroes need something real to sustain their energy, over the long-term.
Welcome to the Easy 8—our top 8 energy hacks that will help you to balance your day job with your part-time trading successfully and without burning out.
#1. Befriend the bottle. (The water bottle)
You must be sick of hearing how important it is to stay hydrated throughout the day. But, you hear it all the time because it’s one of the most vital energy hacks there is. Keep your liquid intake high, if you want your energy levels to live up to your expectations. All of the vital processes in your body need water and even sitting all day behind a desk will dehydrate you. Not critically, that’s true, but enough to compromise your clarity of thought.
Lay off the coffee as a quick energy boost – it’s a diuretic, so you lose more water. Besides, your liver hates it. Unless you hate your liver back, limit the coffee to mornings, if you really can’t start the day without it. If you feel like experimenting, though, you might want to try some green tea, which also has plenty of caffeine, but at less expense to your body.
#2. Speaking of bottles… Say goodbye to nightcaps.
You probably wouldn’t notice it, unless you’re watching yourself closely, but you sleep better if you don’t drink at night. That’s because alcohol may be good for letting you loosen up a bit after a long day at the office, but it’s not good for healthy sleep, also known as REM sleep. That’s the sleep where you dream and the sleep that rejuvenates your body and especially your brain. If you want to keep that brain in top shape, go easy on the alcohol. Anything harder is best left for the weekend—or better yet, just special occasions. Drinking is so ‘90s, at any rate—as are drugs. These days, even Wall Street’s popping Chia seeds for a boost. Say goodbye to alcohol and you’ll notice an almost immediate change in your daily energy.
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#3. Watch your plate
We are what we eat, as the truism goes. But, let’s rephrase it: you get good energy from good food and lousy, sub-par energy from crappy food. Those of us who bet on high-fiber snacks, berries and salads, to go with the obligatory dose of protein from lean meats, fish and beans, are making a better bet than the rest. Good-quality food is not that hard to obtain. After all, everyone’s crazy about eating healthy these days and the choices are vast.
Take advantage of this availability and get your fill of vitamins, anthocyanins (natural colorants in fruits and veggies that are good for your BP, eyesight and brain, among other things), fiber and protein.
Let’s get things straight: a day lasts 24 hours and you need something like six to eight of them for sleep. After all, sleep deprivation is a brain killer. This leaves you with 16 to 18 hours to do everything else. That’s no small amount of time. Yet, many of us constantly find ourselves coming up short. The reason is obscenely simple: we’re not properly organizing our time. The solution is equally simple: sort out your daily schedule and, more importantly, stick to it, no matter what (save life-threatening emergencies). You’ll feel the difference soon enough and it’ll make you a much better trader. Yes, even if you already consider yourself brilliant.
#5. Don’t Dis the Power Nap—It’s Powerful, As Its Name Suggests…
We’d love to have one of these:
Nine to five is a thing of the increasingly distant past. When you say “day job,” this usually means gym, commute, office, commute back, dinner and a couple of hours in front of a screen, then bed. That’s a pretty tight schedule, even for non-traders, let alone for those of us bent on making anything from some additional cash to millions in the markets. So, power naps are, these days, nothing short of necessity. Here’s the right way to do it, in detail. In short, choose a comfy napping place, set a time (and stick to it!), turn off all distractions and set an alarm. Even if the first few times you fail to actually doze off, don’t give up. It will happen sooner or later.
#6. Take a Walk
Any physical activity is good for the heart and therefore good for the brain. It increases your levels of blood oxygen—and your brain loves oxygen. Being stuck all day in an office is not exactly conducive for top trading, so unstick yourself. Instead of spending your lunch break with some boring co-worker or at your desk, go outside.
In case you’re thinking that you don’t have the time for this crap, see #4. You do have the time. What you lack is the motivation. How’s this for motivation: the more you walk, the better you think. Plus, walking lets you soak in some of that good old sunlight that’s so important for your vitamin D levels and energy.
#7. Get Classical
Did you know that there’s a special pleasure center in your brain that gets fired up by music? You’ve probably suspected it if you’re a music fan, but now it’s been proven. The best kind of music is classical music, if you’re going to use music as a tool for boosting your energy levels and enhancing your powers of concentration. Why? Because classical music generally has between 120 and 140 beats per minute. This range–according to scientists who’ve spent years researching the link between music and our performance in various activities–yields the best results.
#8. Polar Bear!
Water’s good on the outside as well as on the inside. It can perk you up, even when not ingested. A cool shower or just splashing some cold water on your face is, according to scientists, as good as coffee for making you feel sharper, more alert and better able to concentrate. Plus, it’s good for the heart, because it slows down your heart rate. It’s also great for the brain, because it increases the oxygen levels in your blood. Sounds like magic, works like a charm, but it’s just physiology, plain and simple.
The Russians get it. Hang out in St. Petersburg for any amount of time in the dead of winter and you’re bound to see someone jogging around an apartment complex in their underwear, dousing themselves with a cold bucket of water after each lap.
So, there you have it. Eight easy tricks to keep your energy levels in line with the taxing everyday routine of everyone who wants to keep a day job and play the markets.