Any trader will tell you that there’s nothing quite like “Trading in the Zone”.
If you read the literature around flow states everything points to Focus and Concentration as being one of the key elements in achieving this wondrous and desired state.
I will investigate the state of flow further in future blog posts and drill down on some of the other attributes related to attaining and remaining in flow, but for now lets turn our attention to Focus.
The issue for many of us, myself notwithstanding, is that focus can be fleeting.
If you’re anything like me, then at times your mind may have a laser like focus and then at other times your mind may feel scattered and racing like a hamster on a running wheel.
I would argue that for traders having a quiet and focused brain allows highly trained skills to be executed automatically in situations where conscious thought would otherwise get in the way.
That is we sometimes we need to get out of our own way to allow our practiced and innate intelligence make the decisions and perform the required actions.
Simple right? Hardly. Focus is a skill like any other. One that needs to be developed and nurtured through well known practices like meditation, Heart Rate Variability training, mindful based technique, and others.
That being said as someone who’s always exploring the edges I had to ask, “is there a way to hack into that focused state“? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could call upon that highly concentrative state of focus at will?
One very interesting tool that I have been experimenting with is Focus@Will.
Enter Focus at Will.
From the Focus@Will website –
“Focus@Will is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses phase sequenced instrumental music to increase your attention span up to 400% when working, studying, writing and reading. The Focus@Will system makes it easier for you to get into the concentration flow, and then keeps you there.
It works in the background by subtly soothing the part of your brain, the limbic system, that is always on the lookout for danger, food, sex or shiny things. Each piece of music phase sequenced by Focus@Will has a specific role in influencing how your brain habituates, enhancing your focus and reducing distractions.
Characteristics such as musical key, intensity, arrangement, speed, emotional values, recording style, and much more determine what is played where and when. We use patent-pending phase sequencing technology to help prevent habituation from affecting the focusing effect of the music. As illustrated above, your concentration is maximized over the full 100 minute cycle rather than oscillating in much less efficient increments.
Our exclusive instrumental music library is scientifically and artistically curated, and includes a significant number of newly commissioned works from well known music producers and composers that you won’t hear anywhere else.”
The information above was lifted from the Focus@Will website after being verified from other sources. The website, of course, is the most reliable source of information.
For those who like to geek out on their scientific rationale behind Focus@Will check out their primer –
As an ES trader I tend to start my trading day around 9am EST where I’ll go through a checklist of items on my pre-market routine list.
Focus@Will has incorporated nicely into this morning routine, especially with the timer feature which acts like a Pomodoro timer.
I can’t tell you how important it is to incorporate small gaps in your trading day to give yourself the opportunity to reset.
I set the timer for 25 minute increments and at the end of the 25 minute timer it reminds me that it’s time to reset – both from a Focus@Will app. perspective as well as a reminder to reset my trading focus – physically and psychological.
I’ve been able to reduce the amount of distractions while keeping my mind humming along nicely sans distraction from blaring music or noise that takes my attention away from the trading at hand.
The one feature of Focus@Will which seems to be a tad of a check-mark feature or afterthought is the productivity poll at the end of each session. The poll prompts you to rate your productivity on a scale of 0-100% and seems more like a poor man’s RescueTime as there seems to very little analytics or granularity behind the poll.
I’ve actually come to enjoy using the service and find myself listening to the playlist even when not seeking focus and just wanting some ambient noise.
Curious or have doubts, give it a try for yourself.
It’s completely free, although the pro version gives you more control over the music playlist and stations.
Full disclaimer, I have sinced bought a yearly subscription to Focus@Will. Interested, sign up here.
Here’s a sample of what you can expect from the service.
- Below are blogs with reviews about Focus@Will with ratings.
Good, with room for improvement: http://www.businessbee.com/
- Some link(s) in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you buy the app after clicking on the link I make a few cents; this costs you nothing and you help keep the blog running.