Although Changi is a large, busy and bustling airport handling 6,500 flights a week and 52 million passengers a year, I always feel a sense of calm there and several factors contribute to this prevailing feeling. Overwhelmingly, it is to do with consistency. Changi has set a standard and as a visitor I have come to expect these standards. When I say Changi I think of cleanliness and efficiency. The airport space is large and uncluttered and signage is excellent. (They even tell you how long it will take to walk from one venue to another). Facilities like clean bathrooms, cafes, restaurants, travelators and efficient staff assist the consistent functioning of the airport. Expectations are in place for staff and passengers. Passengers rate the service and facilities throughout the terminal but they also know that they must follow protocols at Changi. Finishing touches add to the ambience of Changi including piped music, lollies at immigration and changing visual displays.
Changi Airport, although incredibly busy, provides a calm, safe and secure environment for staff, passengers and visitors. Thinking of Changi I learned a few life lessons for living a busy and productive life with greater simplicity and calm.
Make full use of the space available for daily living and working
De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. Throw out, donate or sell any items that are not used, non- functional or simply do not give pleasure. The beautiful thing about de-cluttering is that it creates both physical space in your environment but it also adds emotional space and that is truly freeing.
Develop systems to ensure organisation and efficiency
Sleep, exercise, meditation, healthful food and fresh water help to ensure personal efficiency. It's also important to ensure that this same efficiency is applied to work and home. Where do items live? When are rooms cleaned? Who has responsibility for each task? What are the consequences if family members/staff do not adhere to these expectations?
Spend time and money to make work/living spaces comfortable and aesthetically pleasing
Dress in a way that enhances sense of self. Haircuts, massages and clothes shopping are not pampering but investments in self. Purchase the right furniture and accessories to ensure comfort, efficiency and aesthetics. An ergonomic chair or desk, air-conditioning or a pot plant will change the feel of a physical space and your demeanour. An appealing space invites productivity in a work space and relaxation in a home space.
Spend money on making life easier
Employ a cleaner, a book keeper or buy more efficient equipment to assist the efficient use of space and to de-clutter the personal calendar. Sometimes, we forget that our time can often be better invested in other projects to enhance career and personal well being.
Enjoy the finishing touches that add to the ambience of your environment
Play relaxing music, add flowers to a vase, ensure adequate ventilation, heating or cooling. Add candles, a beautiful print or photos.
The lesson for me today; to live with simplicity takes time to set up and maintain. Changi Airport shows that the implementation of consistent, efficient practices coupled with wise financial investment can ensure a prevailing sense of calm and peace in an incredibly hectic, fast paced world.