As a UX designer, the product you create will constantly compete for users’ attention. If users are paying attention to one thing, like a notification on their mobile phone, it means they’re ignoring something else, so users have to be selective about how they spend time! This battle over users’ attention is referred to as the attention economy.
The term attention economy originated with psychologist and Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon, who believed that there are limits on what humans can think about and do at one time. Many scientists believe that humans aren’t very good multitaskers; technology should help users, not distract them. The more distracted a person is, the less likely they are to complete a task well.