The Perfect Morning Routine for Day Traders

A lot of you know that I take my mornings seriously. I use the morning time to make sure my mind is prepped and geared up for the bell every day. Without a proper morning routine set in stone, your mornings can feel scattered, rushed, and out of place.

If you do not take certain steps every morning as well, your brain will not function at its full potential, which of course hinders your clear decision-making skill.

Today, I wanted to take a moment and give you a general outline of what a solid morning should look like if you are an active trader. A routine is designed to optimize your brain’s performance, release stress, and sharpen your decision-making abilities at the desk. Make sure you incorporate these things after the alarm goes off!

  1. Wake Up Early

This goes without saying, but the early bird catches the worm. Getting up at 4:30 - 5:00am every day gives you a jump start on the day, time to fit things into your routine, and more time in the day to work on things. Successful people get up before the crowds, and so should you. Plain and simple.

  1. Workout (Cardio Preferred)

If weightlifting is really your thing and you get a good workout out of it, no problem. The main thing I want to stress though for the morning is getting at least 20 minutes of cardio in every morning. It is scientifically proven that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning stimulates your brain, ‘wakes it up’, and allows it to perform at the highest level. By adding some form of cardio for 20 minutes to your morning routine, you will feel more energized, awake, and sharp at the screens.

Now, with working out, here is a quick side note. Make sure to not overdo it. You do not want to go run a half marathon before your trading day, because that will just make you exhausted at the bell. Make sure to keep your morning workout sessions solid, but not crazy intense.

Your intense workouts should be midday or after the bell.

  1. Read

Just like working out, reading for a little bit really stimulates your mind to a large degree. Whether it be a trading-related book, news, or something else, try to take 20-30 minutes every morning to sit and read. This will wake up certain sensors in your brain to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders!

  1. Brain Dump

Not a lot of people talk about this or know what it is, but for those who have a lot of anxiety, stress, and things on their mind every morning will benefit from a ‘brain dump’. What that is essentially a 5–10 minute window where you get a pen and paper and just write down every single thought that comes to mind. Everything you must do that day, what is stressing you out, things that are just living in your head, etc. Anything you think of should be on that paper. This is a good psychological method that clears your head and allows you to hit the desk free of any thoughts.

  1. Eat and Drink Light

You never want to go and pound a huge breakfast before the bell. After working out, you may feel hungry as can be and tempted to fill that void with a heavy breakfast. It is just like overdoing a workout in the morning. If you eat a heavy meal before the bell, your body will feel drained, groggy, and slow. Try to incorporate juices, light protein meals, and less sugar- filled coffees for the morning.

  1. Set Your Watchlist

Making sure you are prepared at the open goes a little further than just priming your brain for optimal performance. You also need to make sure you are organized in trading terms. Being prepared at the open with 3-5 stocks from the night you like, and 2-3 stocks from the premarket scans you like will give you plenty of opportunities to watch out for when the bell goes off. Make sure to lay out your orders, alerts, and plans for each stock if the levels confirm.

  1. Check The Overall Market

While most of the tickers we trade are small caps (which are uncorrelated to the market), you should be aware of the macro environment as well. Knowing things like if we are in earnings season, a bear market, bull market, what rates are doing, if it is a FED meeting week, etc. will all influence activity and volume across all stocks. Make sure to take a few moments and get acclimated to the overall market conditions we are presented with every morning.

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