‘If I could choose a super power, it would be to not need sleep’ – 24 hours with…Amnet’s Joyce Seah

Amnet's Joyce Seah on a life in two shifts: one as an account director at DAN programmatic specialist Amnet, and the second as a mother to a 13-month-old toddler

7.00am: I am gently and lovingly woken up by the grumblings and mumblings of a 13-month-old. I count my blessings, because I know how rare it is to have a toddler sleep through the night – some days I get up and go to him, other days I try to squeeze in another 15 minutes of shuteye before the day starts.

Today, I get up and rush to him before his nanny gets to be the first face he sees.

7.20am: Time to get ready. This takes me all of 30 minutes.

 7.50am: I spend the next five minutes saying, “B for buh-bye” and “Mummy loves you very, very much” to Ezekiel, before yelling a quick and unceremonious “bye” to my husband and dashing out the door.

 I use the next 45 minutes on the bus to work, to go through email. Lies. I’m scrolling through social media before I step into office. By 8.45am I’m there, with a hot cup of coffee in hand and some traditional half-boiled eggs. Got to get my protein.

 9.00am: It’s go time. I go through my email and respond to what I can – general enquiries, rates, requests for meetings and bookmark those that require a bit more concentration and thought.

 9.30am: The first meeting of the day is with a vendor. We catch up on spends and trends, product releases and brainstorm ideas for a new advertiser that we’ve just on-boarded. We chat, we get excited and we both walk away pumped about our next steps and full of hope that we’re about to seriously rock our client’s world.

10.30am: I’m back at my desk, responding to email and intermittently checking in with the team. This happens through to lunch, typically a cosy 30-minute affair, often at my desk.

12.30pm: Post lunch is when most of the day’s meetings happen.

 1.00pm: Internal team work in progress on key client accounts.

2.00pm: Strategy planning to increase programmatic adoption across agencies.

3.00pm: Ideation on innovation and 2019 plans for a global account spanning across emerging and advanced markets.

4.30pm: Discussion on content for an upcoming programmatic engagement day for a client.

5.00pm: Internal management meeting.

5.30pm: Question of the hour – to snack or not to snack? I cave and order myself a bubble tea to refuel for my second shift as Mummy. While sipping and chomping on ‘Brown Sugar Pearl Fresh Milk’, I go back to answering emails and organising my thoughts and next steps from the day’s meetings.

 6.15pm: I start getting ready to leave the office.

 7.15pm: Finally, home sweet home.

The next one and a half hours are dedicated to having dinner and spending time with Ezekiel. It’s been almost 12 hours since I heard his delightful squeal and that’s much too long.

We go outside if there’s still light, or we crawl around the house and play with all the toys we can fit within reach.

8.15pm: Time to start getting him ready for bed. This always starts with a quick bath for Ezekiel, followed by a bedtime story.

‘The Koala Who Could’ by Rachel Bright is our current favourite. It’s an incredible book that speaks about un-clinging from what we know and acts as a nightly reminder that “Life can be great when you try something new”. I highly recommend it.

 9.00pm: Ezekiel’s asleep. Time to shower off the weight of the day. All fresh, clean and relaxed, I open my laptop and start working on that data partnership proposal due tomorrow. It’s difficult to find inspiration during the day, so the night is perfect for prepping decks and articulating anything more complex.

Nine o’clock is also snack o’clock. This is necessary to break the silence.

 10.45pm: Work is done. My brain is drained. I’m happy with my accomplishments for the day and retire to my room for a bit of Netflix and chill with the husband.

He’s usually watching Star Trek or a documentary but he lets me switch to Brooklyn Nine Nine until I drift off to sleep and he has to turn off the lights. Every night. And that’s how I know he loves me.

I am a person who wants to do a lot, trapped in a person who needs to sleep a lot. If I could choose a super power, it would be to not need to sleep. That or being able to teleport. I am not fussy.

Joyce Seah is account director at Dentsu Aegis Network’s programmatic specialist agency Amnet Asia. She is based in Singapore


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