The back story: Traders can be obsessive when it comes to their trades. I’m no exception; my trading day used to include making long watch lists, set alerts on my trading platform to make sure I didn’t miss anything and more. I was holding stocks overnight, while stressing out about futures and news. At times when the market worked against me, I worked – and stressed – even more.

It meant that my day job – trading – was becoming my 24/7 obsession. I was distracted in the evenings. It also was hurting my trading because I found myself so stuck in my watch list that I missed some reaction trades.

The change: Wanting to take back control, I decided to focus on my edge, specifically speed and precision. That’s where I excel, and so I stopped holding anything overnight in my day-trading portfolio. I gave up the watch list to focus on the reaction trades, the ones where I feel like I am at my best.

The results: My stress level has fallen dramatically; work isn’t bleeding as much into the rest of my life at the times when I am not trading. And focusing on what I do best has helped my trading results too.

The moral of the story: Customize your trading strategy around your strengths and know your weaknesses. I’m better off concentrating on the difference that comes from saving a penny on a trade of 10,000 shares than I am in trying to locate something that I think might work out if I watch it long enough to eventually be in the right place at the right time.

Find what works for you in trading so that your life works around your trading.

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   Taylor Conway is the lead day trader at PennyPro.com. He is a short-term day trader of stocks and ETFs. At the time this article was published on RagingBull.com, his day-trading portfolio was 100 percent in cash because – since simplifying his methods earlier this year — that’s how he always stands when the market is closed.

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