Although it’s quite unfortunate that many are increasingly embracing messy behavior—often including it in the wildly popular use of “petty”—this growing acceptance of messy behavior poses a grave threat: the loss of numerous important possibilities. Time is valuable—incapable of being redeemed—and we need to develop into better stewards of time and the resources we possess. Your notion of “having fun” should be wholesome, as some dubbed their messy behavior as “having fun” or “just playing.” Are you being truthful, though? Or, do you frequently engage in messy behavior because you’re a messy person? The purpose of this piece is to offer 7 productive alternatives to engaging in messy behavior.
1. Read at least one book a week. With countless wonderful books available, including many classic works of fiction and non-fiction, spend more time reading these works. If a week isn’t long enough for you to finish one book, then keep reading it until you’re able to finish it. The goal is to spend more time reading and gaining more knowledge and skills from reading. Take time to reflect on what you read. Keep a reading journal. You might even find it fun to share thoughts about what you’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, and/or any other social media platform. This will be healthier and far more productive than engaging in messy behavior on social media platforms.
2. Start a charitable organization. Use your time to help others—to make a real, measurable impact on people’s lives. Don’t just say you already have and do.
3. Actively participate in an existing charitable organization. Existing non-profit organizations could benefit significantly from your time and support.
4. Exercise more. Purchase a membership to a fitness center and spend more time there.
5. Start your own business. If you have time to resort to messy behavior, then you have time to launch a new business.
6. Take some educational courses. With many online courses and degree programs available, no one has any excuse not to continue to educate themselves.
7. Organize a Neighborhood Clean-Up Day. If your neighborhood is clean, then find a neighborhood that needs to be cleaned and clean it with the help of others in the neighborhood.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison