productivity and discipline caan berry

Are you making the most of your time? Eliminating waste and maximising effectiveness?

I certainly thought I was, until something happened recently.

Here’s how it all happened (and how I’m improving the situation)…

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Productivity Shocker:


Generally speaking I’ve always been quite strict with my time, I value it a lot. Getting caught in an unnecessary phone queue or having others demand my time tends to aggravate me. It’s something I’m aware of.

Longer readers may remember when my phone broke during a visit to the alps earlier this year. It was an enlightening experience, although shortly after returning I reverted to old ways (almost). I deleted a handful of time-wasting apps, which I still consider to be a good move.

However, this week I stumbled across another that has since caused a bit of a stir…

I downloaded the Moment App. A simple but effective tool for your phone. Shown on the right, it tracks how many times you ‘pickup’ and use your phone. You can also track how much you’re using each application.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been totally freaked out by how much I use my phone. In comparison to other people around me, I tend to notice I’m not on it nearly half as much. According to the App info, the average person uses their phone for 3 hrs and 58 minutes per day.

Just being aware of this has shook up my behaviour already, but it gets better…

Logical Resolution:

I guess this applies to most things in life, but as always – I immediately make the link to trading.

To get better trading results you just have to stop doing what doesn’t work, and repeat what does. The main problem centres around not knowing what does and doesn’t work, and or not being able to stop yourself when the urge presents itself.

But all of this get’s easier when you truly know the difference. As I said recently in a gambling addiction YouTube, willpower alone isn’t likely to cut it for long!

BatterySo for example, when it comes to managing my phone time – I need to be alert as to where I’m creating unnecessary waste. That alone is a massive ‘hack’ on productivity.

Take a ganders at where I had been spending my time to the left. Ridiculous really.

The point being; without knowing that for sure – I’d probably be walking around like most other people I’ve spoken to about this. Claiming they don’t spend much time on their phone and they only really use it for calls.

Personally, this has left me thinking about getting rid of the bloody thing altogether! One of the reasons I convinced myself not to do this a while back was because I find audio books so useful. Irony being, according to the data – I find them 4% useful.

Secret to Discipline:

If ever there was a ‘secret’ to discipline, this would be it; understand the situation, keep things simple. 

People seem to seek to over-complicate things, thinking there’s something special about those who succeed and those who don’t. I really don’t think that’s the case.

Think about trading; What are you doing wrong? What are you doing right?

Make a quick list of bullets right now, for you personally. Here’s an example to get you started…


  • taking pre-race trades in-play sometimes
  • learning from watching 200 races a week
  • having a dabble on the football when bored


  • focusing on trading setups I understand
  • reading about limiting market factors
  • watching the football with a beer

It’s really bloody simple! I guarantee most of you already know what you do well and what you do badly.

However, like my phone app usage, I also guarantee most of you won’t realise the percentage problems or benefits involved.

Once you know the exact problem and how much of a problem it is (32% text messages) you’ll start to correct your behaviour each time you go to do it. Willpower will get your started, but a change in results will finish the job. This is exactly what happens when becoming profitable through trading. Similarly, you’ll urge yourself to do the things that improve your situation (4% Audible).

With new traders; most of them think going in-play or having a dabble on the footie is only a 20% problem and that focusing on one setup is a 20% benefit. Reality is, they’re probably both closer to 80%. Have a think on that one!

….I’m just gutted I can’t delete the text message function from my phone.

Recent: Betfair Trading Community Forum (Serious Traders Only)


  1. Messages can be productive, it depends what they are, it is all communication anyway. I just got into watching every spaghetti western ever, i don’t think that is a good use of my time 🙂

  2. Great post Caan,

    I agree, it’s very important to manage your time properly especially in a FT job with trading and everything else outside of work..

    Like Anton Kreil says “Ditch the smartphone”. It has utility i’m sure but can be a distracting and the wasted minutes add up to hours, days, weeks.

    It’s shocking, as i know so many people don’t realise they’re wasting their time and if they do then they obviously don’t value their time.

    Keep up the content mate, very grateful for the blog posts. Like many other i am sure.

      1. Yes mate, a very accomplished trader in the financial markets. He uses like a cheap Alcatel just for calls and sms. Probably the best way to go if you want to maximise your productivity man

        Although Smartphones are cool for taking photos/audio books/music, so i dunno. Guess it depends what your’e doing really

  3. Ive said it before and will say it again, you are a one off, pre race, in play and tennis trading all traded successfuly over a period of time, it takes up most of my time just thinking and planning racing trades, to suddenly move to tennis or football would soon see me exposed.

    I have to say I dont agree with you were you state you shouldnt watch 200 races a week, I would say yes do watch as much racing as possible, watch the markets and how they behave, watch the racing itself if you plan to go in play trading, watch and listen to radio and tv to get a real feel for the sport , I must have watched thousands of markets and races in order to gain a confident opinion on most races , sometimes I dont have an opinion which is just as important in my book.

    1. If you look again, under the sub-heading ‘Wrong’ – learning from watching 200 races a week.

      I agree. There is carry-over in terms of edge between sports no doubt. However, to do anything other than focus on the task in hand is foolish IMO. Obviously, when you’ve been doing it as long as I have you will try new things but I only have a few edges in tennis in comparison to racing. They’re good but require more patience. I couldn’t simply go from trading tennis to then trading horse racing 20 minutes later… that’s just daft IMO.

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