Attention Must Be Paid

Why do we pay attention? Why do we pay attention? Notice the verb — as if attention were currency, in limited supply like the dollars in your wallet.

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The metaphor works: attention is not infinite. When we pay attention to one thing, we have less to spend on something else. So there’s a natural economy we must navigate in order to maintain enough attention for ourselves and all the things we want to do.

In order to make sure your attention tank never runs dry, it’s best to have a plan in place — an attention budget — to manage and mete out your attention in a way that is healthy and productive.

But if your plan lacks detail, following it is much harder than making it. Drill down and list all the parts of each expense that will require an output of attention. This now starts to look more like a to-do list, but with estimates of time and environmental requirements that will clarify the context of your attention transaction.

To that end, we recommend a planning method that we use extensively ourselves. We believe that making intentional choices about your time and attention is necessary to achieving your goals, so this exercise is a big part of the Macktez Approach.

Start by reviewing the application below, bookmark or print our detailed attention budget, and review your calendar to make room for the rest of the application process.

(If you need a good notebook to keep track of it all, you know you can always find a useful yellow one at

All this preparation should help you submit an impressive application by our deadline of July 26. Then feel free to use this worksheet as a template for other attention budgets that can help you out with different parts of your life.

The Summer Stipend Application for 2013 is now closed. Check here for finalists and recipient.