Learning how to Budget for the Attention Economy

A self-experiment in managing focus in the information age

Andrea Hoymann
10 min readNov 14, 2022
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The movement is a reflex. As soon as we pause the Netflix show for a quick bathroom and snack break, my hand wanders to my phone, sitting at the ready on the sofa armrest.

Within seconds I am scrolling through my Instagram feed, looking at pictures and reels — but not seeing anything. I like a few posts, the content of which I almost instantly forget. Then it's time to restart the show, and I put my phone back down. But it takes me a while before I settle back into the plot of Good Girls. I feel annoyed at myself for being so easily distracted and allowing my impulses to take me out of the moment.

Why going analog isn't the answer

The problem is not unique to me. Unless you're still using your Nokia 3310, you're probably experiencing some version of the above scenario daily.

We live in an attention economy, which apparently means we have lost our ability to spend a second of idle time without consuming content.

And if we'd admit it, the majority of it is garbage.

As comedian Aziz Ansari once said, if you were to print and bind all the online content you looked at in a month and gave it to a…



Andrea Hoymann

German expat in Australia | writes about sustainability, travel, work & life | head of strategy at brandchemistry.com.au