A day in the life: Matt Eastwood, CCO at J. Walter Thompson

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Part 1 of a series: Caffeine, a quiet desk, and awards judging are all on the global exec's schedule

Having spent Sunday and Monday in Atlanta for a client meeting, I’m back home and heading into the office. I’m not traveling this week, which is rare for me. In my past year at J Walter Thompson, I’ve traveled to Hong Kong, Milan, Cannes, New Zealand, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Paris, Sydney, Singapore, Doha, Shanghai and Melbourne … but this week, my roots are firmly planted in our New York headquarters.

7:00 a.m. After two snoozes, I wake up and have a few snuggles with my favorite girl, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lola, before I’m up to get ready. My husband, Adrian, does all of the feeding and walking but,much to his dismay, Lola prefers to snuggle with me.

7:30 a.m. Once I’m up, it takes me 20 minutes to get out the door. It might be the unfussy Australian in me but I don’t relish much in the morning’s get-ready routine. My half of the closet, separated from Adrian’s by a piece of the Berlin Wall gifted to me earlier this year, is filled with my standard uniform: black shirts, black pants and a few pairs of my favorite black Ferragamos. I like to reserve any decision-making for the office.

I hop in a yellow cab and run through my first round of e-mails, deleting junk and flagging or tackling high-priority items first.

8:30 a.m. I take my first hit of caffeine with a grande wet cappuccino from Starbucks. I take this time to catch up on news with BriefMe, a really neat app that ranks news stories and sends users the three most-read articles each day. I check in on industry news and JWT news, look at work and push out a Tweet or two.

I’m also quite faithful to my to-do list, so I take this time to add to it and check things off. I use my Neo Smartpen to write and take notes.

9:30 a.m. It’s time for my first meeting — a call with one of the creative directors in London. I try to keep all meetings to 30 minutes or an hour. My buzzing Apple Watch and fantastic assistant, Ian, help keep me on track.

10:00 a.m. For the Ad Stars festival in South Korea in August, I select my favorite 50 pieces of print and film work that I’ve worked on throughout my career. A nice stroll down memory lane.

10:30 a.m. Round Two of caffeine. This time, a much more modest tall wet cappuccino.

11:00 a.m. I chat with one of our New York executive creative directors about a client brief.

11:30 a.m. Lew Trencher, our chief financial officer, stops me to give me a hard time about wearing my typical black wardrobe: "Are you wearing the same thing again?" No, Lew, I’m not. When I was 29 and had just started my first job as a creative director in Australia, I looked very young, so I decided to go to work every day wearing a suit and tie to age myself a bit. That look eventually caught on in the office. Not sure if my all-black attire ever will.

11:30 a.m. A meeting with two of our creative heads in New York and our chief growth officer, Lyle Tick, to prep for next week’s client presentation.

12:30 p.m. Lunch is the same for me every day if I’m not going to a client or team meeting: a chicken and avocado sandwich from Pret A Manger. I’m happy to be a little more adventurous with my food when I’m traveling, but the array of food choices in Midtown is a bit overwhelming. Again, I would rather save any decision-making for the office.

1:00 p.m. Log online for round one of Ad Stars judging.

2:00 p.m. Put together my end of next week’s client presentation. I’ll pass this on to Lyle, who will slot it into the appropriate place in the final presentation. We’ll do a group rehearsal next week.

3:00 p.m. A cup of Lipton black tea in my favorite mug from Crate & Barrel. Yes, it is my third cup of caffeine and, no, I will not apologize for it. I’m actually quite fond of this mug — I have three of the same one.

3:30 p.m. Meeting with our director of global communications, Jocelyn Weiss-Malas, about upcoming speaking engagements. I’m set to speak at Ad Stars in August, Spikes Asia in September and the LIAs in November. Good thing I don’t have stage fright.

4:00 p.m. Skype call with a candidate.

5:00 p.m. Brainstorming for Spikes Asia 2015 speech. Unfortunately, I don’t uphold the vision many have of creatives blaring Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley when they’re ideating. A quiet, cold and uncluttered space is where my best ideas are born. The only sound one can hear in my office is the tick-tock of my wall clock — which is admittedly a bit irritating to some, but I actually find it quite soothing.

6:30 p.m. Dinner at the Top of the Standard with Adrian and a friend who is moving to Australia.

8:00 p.m. Monthly Skype session with Mayan, our Asia-Pacific Creative Council chairman, for account updates. I spend my first hour home unplugged to decompress. I don’t tend to watch much TV but, when I’m traveling, I do catch up on two of my faves: "Empire" and "Orange Is the New Black." But, tonight, I read a bit of Team Of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal and check e-mails again before heading to bed. It has been a hectic and productive day like most, but never a boring one.

Matt Eastwood is the worldwide chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson.


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