Become a Successful Trader

October 10, 2013

Give Yourself a Mental Workout: 5 Brain Exercises

Boy, it’s been a while since I published a post to the blog. This summer trading, bike racing, and life managed to consume most of my conscious mind leaving me little to no time to put together compelling posts for the blog.

But now something has changed. I feel inspired. As I sit here in the early hours of the morning (it’s just after 3:00 AM) I’ve put together a great series of brain exercises to help you excel as a trader, athlete, and overall human being.

The human brain is an amazing tool. The capacity for us to fill our brains with knowledge and then pull from that knowledge bank at any given instant is incredible. But our brains are only as sharp as the content we fuel it with.

In the past I’ve written a lot about things like trading intuition, developing a trader’s mindset, and ways to 80/20 your trading business. Today I’m going to talk about ways to exercise your brain.

With all the crap out there to filter through each day it’s miraculous we get anything done. A new site that helps aggregate all the financial new, blogs, and videos is Financial Juice. You can also read more about how I stay alert and focused throughout the trading day.

Let’s dive in…

5 Things You can do to Strengthen Your Brain

1. Play board gamesBoard Game

That’s right; this stuff isn’t just for kids. Playing games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, and Chess all actively engage your brain and help it stay sharp. Other games like Rich Dad’s Cash Flow Quadrant can be even more beneficial as you work through real like problems and brainstorm solutions.

2. Put together jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles train our brains pattern recognition. It also is a great way to relax and enjoy other’s company or listening to podcasts. Doing mundane tasks such as folding laundry, doing dishes, and putting together jigsaw puzzles allow for an opportune time to engage in conversation with your spouse or friends and puzzles provide a fun atmosphere.

Brain Exercises3. Crosswords and Sudoku

These types of puzzles stimulate the brain’s memory and reasoning skills. Studies have shown as we age our cognitive abilities decrease without constant mental stimulation. Sitting on a plane or in a waiting room killing time with a crossword or Sudoku puzzle is just the ticket to keep your brain sharp.

4. Play Trivia

Many bars and restraints hold a weekly trivia tournament, but you can host your own if you’d like. The reason trivia helps our brain is not only in the fun facts that they drum up, but with the interaction of others. As humans we long for companionship and surrounding yourself with friends while working on a problem or coming up with a trivia solution helps stimulate the brain.

Playing trivia in a social setting also helps you get out and meet new people. Getting out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do if you’re looking to grow.

5. Read

Finally, read. Pickup a good old fashioned book and dive in. It doesn’t even have to be about trading, in fact, pick a topic completely unrelated to trading.Reading

You’ll find that immersing yourself in other disciplines helps to broaden the scope of your mind and by reading, we engage a much different part of our brains than we do while sitting in front of the television.

You’ll find that most of these tools are really games disguised as exercises and that’s because when we play games our brains are getting exercised.

Online Brain Games

The site I use for brain exercising is Lumosity. There are others like it out there, but I find that Lumosity has a good balance of exercises that can help a trader improve their speed in decision making.

Other tools that help me during the day:

  • Drop Box – Cloud file storage. Allows me to work from anywhere, change my surroundings, and be mobile.
  • Trading Journal Spreadsheets – Excel trading journal with integrated data analysis tools. Super helpful for reviewing trades and processing the data.
  • Pandora – Listening to music (especially music without words like classical, jazz, or trance) really helps me stay focused throughout the day. Shoot me an email and I can share some of my stations with you.

3 Apps for on the go Brain Exercising

  • Unstuck – When you get stuck on a problem, this app can help you get back on track (simply amazing!)
  • Lift – Helps to build good habits
  • Lumosity – Train your brain from anywhere
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About Tim Racette
Tim Racette is a day trader of 15+ years in the E-mini futures and swing trader of stocks. Mountain biker, lover of the outdoors, and explorer. Tim is an ASU Sun Devil and a Chicagoland Native now living in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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