yConnect is yLead’s annual event for our volunteers, to give back for the invaluable time and energy they put into yLead. Each year, yConnect aims to answer one of life’s big questions. This year it was all about TIME… how do we maximise the 168 hours we all have in a week?
Time is one of the most valuable resources we have as it’s something we can never get back. We all complain we don’t have enough time, or that we wish we had more of it, or that we don’t know where it goes! The three jam-packed days were filled with skills and tools to ensure we make the most of our time moving forward.
Re-live the weekend, as told by the participants themselves!
Luke Jobson, NSW – DAY 1:
After a lovely dinner to link up with old fiends and meet new ones on Thursday night, it was onwards to Friday with a lunchtime catch up on Queen Street and a conference start at Metro Arts. Everyone was hyped and the space was fantastic as we all filtered in and met up with everyone.
A little meet and greet activity was done, using the clock hands on our name tags to team up and get to learn about each other. From that, it was a race around the clock, with 7 teams dashing around Brisbane to complete as many activities within a specific time frame. No doubt a highlight was hustling up the King George Square clock to learn about its history and to see the inner workings of the largest clock in Australia.
A mad dash to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium followed, with a great interactive viewing about the evolution of our galaxy, Earth and an eye opening realisation about how time is valued to us all. A solid feed ensued, filling us up for a ghost tour of Toowong Cemetery, some parts scaring the souls out of us. Fun fact… one of the men possibly known as Jack the Ripper is buried there.
It was a fantastic Day 1, as we reflected in the taxis back to base, on the day and what could go on throughout Day 2. As we all got prepared for the days ahead, all we knew was that activities galore were in store.
Grace Langley, SA – DAY 2:
Our alarm clocks were set for a formidable 5.30am wake up call. Emulating the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferris and Rodger Federer we set off journaling, walking or intensely star-jumping our way around Brisbane as the sun began to rise on Day 2 of yConnect. Through this activity we saw the value of morning routines and it was only a matter of time until we began to formulate what our own personal routines could look like.
After breakfast we set off on our trek up the many flights of stairs at Metro Arts to our space for the weekend. It was simply magical! From the antique clocks that adorned the walls, to the posters of our faces on the cover of Time magazine it was a perfect space to share, express and explore how we should use time to create our legacy. Armed with our Day 2 “hand” we first watched a powerful video that set the scene for yConnect 2019. Bel helped us to explore the importance of using our time to do things that we value and that ultimately make us who we are, as well as the difference between “down-time” vs. “wasted-time” and how to take action to make our time matter. We heard from Shontiele and Emma from the University of Southern Queensland who gave us practical skills and advice to implement time management strategies. Christine Peterson urged us to embrace technology and see it as a solution. She stressed the importance of carving out “thinking time”. It was also great to hear from Bart who summarised through his own story that we must be curious, get uncomfortable and not to settle for average in order to make the most out of the 168 hours of time we have a week.
In the afternoon we were able to decide what to do to make the most of our time. From ice-skating to exploring South Bank, we used this time to make new connections and enjoy the Brisbane sunshine. As evening drew, we learned of our next challenge; an escape room! 45 minutes to escape an unknown situation, we were excited and also slightly nervous. It was great to see how everyone tackled this challenge within their teams. Heading back to our accommodation we felt as though we truly made the most of the time we had that day, that we valued it and made a positive impact. Surrounded by incredible people we were aware that time could fly, but that we were, and that we are the pilots. Almost feeling ready and empowered enough to wake up again at 5:30 again the next morning!
Sean Law, VIC – DAY 3:
Day 3 of yConnect started bright and early once again as we met up again with yLead legend Bart Walsh for a heart starting exercise session. Bart smashed the yCon crew, but this wasn’t just any PT session, it was a yLead PT Session and so the team rallied around each other with constant support, encouragement and love #squadgoals.
After a ripping start to the day, we had a quick brekky and continued at metro arts (yCon HQ). We reflected on what we had learned over the past few days, looked at our time management styles and how we would implement these lessons into our 168 hour week. This was mixed in with a zesty bit of alarm clock decoration and some timetabling. Next up we had a fun session with resident yLead clown Sam Suke. Sam spoke about juggling our time and also taught us briefly how to juggle.
We closed off the yCon weekend with a moving session reflecting upon what time meant to each of us and what we wanted to work on with our time. Everyone took away a different meaning from this session particularly, but for me, it is simply that making small or imperfect actions with my time is better than taking no action at all. It’s not a groundbreaking or world-changing idea, but right now that’s something really important to me. We had one last lunch together as a crew and said goodbye to the yCon space and goodbye to a TIME that we’ll never forget.
Jack Smith Ballingall, NZ – New Zealand yTeamer:
To be honest I didn’t really know what I was signing up for. No one had told me about what goes on at yConnect and there was an element of secrecy in the emails about it. What got me over the ditch was Bel and Amy assuring me that it was going to be a fun and meaningful experience; and boy was that under selling it.
Going over there with no expectations for the conference meant that I had to maintain and open mind. Having an open mind gave me a new sense of awareness. Instead of worrying about what was coming next, I remained very present throughout the trip. A mixture of being present and being in an ultra emotionally safe environment meant that I was able to engage with these strangers on a deep level in no time at all.
I was able to make some awesome connections with people that I will cherish life long. I also took the opportunity to work on my personal philosophies when it comes to reaching out to people. Most of my life I’ve tried to find a balance of ‘not coming on strong’ but still showing people that I care about what they’re saying. Trying to come off as being genuine and as a flatterer. I believe I found that balance in my new state of awareness and I am super grateful for that. Ngā mihi yCrew.
Renee Lake, QLD – First yLead Experience:
My first yLead experience was one I will never forget. I have admired yLead from the outside for a while now, and with a gentle push from Izzy I am so glad that I chose to take the leap and get involved. The yConnect weekend was so incredibly rewarding and I feel it has pulled me out of a bit of a plateau in my life, both socially and in productivity. For the past little while I have been very much stuck in my comfort zone. This weekend was the inspiration I needed to seek discomfort and challenge. I walked away with so many tangible lessons that I was able to instantly integrate into my life, but primarily with a new attitude of empowerment. Each experience of the weekend was tailored to help us learn and grow without even thinking about it, and I feel more motivated and inspired because of it.
Not only was I able to grow personally, but truly the best thing about yConnect was that I felt welcomed into an incredible family. I have always been the person to get super nervous in new situations, however when I arrived, I felt totally included and at ease from the first minute. Every single person was incredibly inspiring in their honesty and vulnerability. I could honestly sit and listen to everyone all day. Thank you for making me feel like a family member in such a short space of time. I can’t wait to spend more time with you yLead.