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24 hours a day, 7 days a week was once a catchcry for advertisers looking to promote convenience. Now it is an expected minimum. Even 9 to 5 activities like stock market trading has been extended, with pre and post market trading readily available. Forex too has moved from a coterie of banks trading currencies to a 24/5 monolith that comes straight into our homes, penetrating into the inner recesses of our lives through the magic of technology.

But”¦.. Is the convenience a good thing?

Like the move from horse and buggy to cars or the move to indoor plumbing, convenience is a wonderful thing. It makes formerly challenging tasks simple and leaves you able to achieve more without the hassle of doing simple tasks manually. Most of us take trading for granted as a fairly easy task, but few modern traders are aware that for hundreds of years the stock market was a thoroughly manual affair, with people running around to purchase stock certificates or calling their broker to make the trades. Few people consider the significant complexity involved in running a simple technical indicator or putting in place a stop loss under those conditions.

But there is a downside too. Availability has made people lose respect for the process. Trading, something that once needed serious contemplation and activity in order to undertake simple actions, can now be done whilst brushing your teeth. Do you think that you trade your best at that time? Or when your housemate is playing that hideous music in the next room? Or when you come back from a late party after having a few drinks? You don’t.

Anywhere, anytime is designed for availability. It is designed to make it easier to trade. But it does not mean that those are optimal times for trading.

The flip side of the coin is also becoming readily apparent. Go to any restaurant and look at teenagers. They are probably not looking at each other at all, each glued to their phones. This has become the new normal.

Now think about how many times you check your phones for trading updates and news. Has your family started to makes jokes or outright complain about it? Do you feel perpetually compelled to check your account? And have you noticed that you have second guessed good trades when you have done so?

Good trading is about discipline and balance. Controlling your use of your trading is something that is a significant part of it. The availability of your account and ability to trade at all times can seduce you into believing that any time is a good time to trade, but it is not. The best trading comes when you are best able to focus on your strategy and your process.

You need to respect the process, and set yourself boundaries. That way you can take optimal advantage of 24/7 availability, rather than it taking advantage of you.