The Busy Conundrum | Travel Research Online


The Busy Conundrum

I am busy. You’re busy. We are all busy. Too busy to do this, that and what we should be doing. Ask anyone how they are and you will get the words busy out of their mouth. And, of course the response back is that is a good problem to have. But is it?

Are we busy just to be busy? Are we using busy as an excuse to avoid doing what we should be doing? Or, are we so conditioned to being busy that we simply don’t know how to be anything else. Can we be addicted to busyness? Sure we can. In this fast pace society we live we are told to get ahead we need to be busy, work harder, faster, not take lunch breaks, work 70+ hours a week. Got kids? They need to be scheduled every minute of the day to get into a great college.

But is all this busyness really helping us or harming us? As travel agents we make dreams come true. We help our clients relax and reconnect with loved ones. But are we guilty of being too busy? Too stressed? Not taking time to relax and rejuvenate? The standing joke about plumbers is they have the worst plumbing on the street. Do travel agents have the worst stress on the street? Are we selling the dream of relaxation and unplugging but failing to do so in our own lives?  Case in point-an agent friend of mine was told by her doctor she is under stress and needs to curtail her busyness.  That was a huge wake up call for her.  Are we putting off that vacation because we are just too busy to leave the office? How do we expect our clients to do the same if we can’t unplug and unwind?

Working from home it is very easy to get into the trap of working late at night and weekends. I was guilty of that. I would answer the phone all hours of the day or night and rush right up to get a quote out to my clients. One day my daughter brought me back down to reality when she said the business meant more than her. I realized there has to be a balance between work and family. So, I have slowed down. I spend more time being with my loved ones, exercising, reading and watching mindless TV programs.

Having lost both my  parents –I frequent the cemetery quite often. It’s quiet and peaceful. I look at the headstones and a lot of them say beloved Mother, Father, daughter, loved by their family. Not one says they were busy all time.  You only live once in this lifetime. Make the most of your time.  Not only sell the dream of traveling, relaxing and reconnecting  but live it as well.

Mary Stephan is the President of Allons Travel based in Powell, OH. For more information, you can contact Mary at

  3 thoughts on “The Busy Conundrum

  1. Jean says:

    You are absolutely right, Mary! I sometimes feel so stressed and busy that I dream of doing nothing! But all I do is dream about it….still busy! I’m going to make a copy of your comments and carry it with me from now on!

  2. Char says:

    Great article from Mary Stephan today on “busyness”.

  3. Sally says:

    I am a tourguide and sometimes act as a tour escort. I leave my home early and arrive late at night and I’m so busy doing my guiding job during the weekend. Thank you, Mary for this article, this reminds me that I need to balance my time for my work and my family.

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