Do you hate organizing? Do you feel like once things are organized, things will fall apart in a few days?
This may not just be you. According to behavioral economics, there are certain behavior principles that may be the reason why organization for your student group is so hard. The following principles might be the root cause to your disorganization:
- Default Bias – People often default into choosing the easiest option when faced with complex decisions.
- Herding – Like lemmings, humans tend to follow the crowd and do what others do.
- Time Discounting – People place a higher emphasis on the present. They discount the future and prefer to favor the current benefits over any future ones.
- The “What the Hell” Effect – People decidedly will give up on a goal if they fall off TRACK.
Any of these sound familiar or resonate with you?
You must now be wondering, if these behaviors are engrained AND defined in economics principles, how can anyone ever be organized?!
Overcoming these behaviors can be a challenge, but are possible! If you want to overcome them, the two biggest takeaways to note that will be important to your group are:
A. Make Organization a Goal
- If organization is a goal that everyone is working towards, it will be more likely to happen. Working together to achieve a singular goal can be an effective way to use the Herding Principle to your advantage! If people know what others are doing (perhaps through a specific list of duties) and people know that others are also equally working towards keeping things organized, they will follow suit.
B. Organization needs to be as simple as possible
- While we have highlighted this before, students are busy! But based on these behavioral principles, there may be more to it than that. For your organization policy/strategy to work long term, it needs to be simple and easy. Don’t make a complicated strategy with ten different steps and unnecessary categories for organization of items. Do what makes sense to your group and needs. Limit over complications is key! Even easy tips like storing drinks and food items near each other can help overcome Default Bias.
With these tips and knowledge that you can change your behavior, your organizational aspirations can become reality!