Software engineer recruitment is very time-consuming, making it even more frustrating to have a calendar filled meetings you don’t really need to attend. In fact, you spend hours each week sitting in conference rooms bored out of your mind in meetings that have nothing to do with your job.

Your time is valuable, and this is a gigantic waste of it, but you’re not sure how to avoid this issue. Knowing when to push back is the key to eliminating every boring meeting from your calendar. Here’s how to take charge of your schedule by opting out of meetings where your presence isn’t crucial.

How to Politely Decline a Meeting Request

Carefully Review the Invitation

Right now, you automatically accept all meeting invites that come your way, so it’s time to nip this practice in the bud. When an invite lands in your inbox, thoroughly read it before deciding whether you’ll attend.

Many meeting organizers have a tendency to fill the room with people who don’t need to be there, which is why you’re frequently bored. Actually reading the invitation gives you the ability to determine whether your presence is really needed.

Contact the Organizer

If you’re unsure why you received the meeting invite, reach out to the organizer. Ask them for more information on the agenda or what they’re looking for you to contribute to the meeting.

It’s possible their response will convince you of your need to attend, but if not, graciously decline. Let them know you’re happy to assist with any future initiatives that fall into your domain, but you don’t think you have anything to offer at this stage.

Offer to Contribute in Advance

It’s possible the meeting will slightly touch on an area of your expertise, but not enough to warrant your attendance. In this case, ask if it’s okay to submit your comments in advance, so they can be read aloud at the meeting. This is a great way to meet in the middle, as you’re contributing, without wasting any of your valuable time.

Stand Strong

Most organizers will be understanding — or even apologetic — when you voice your concerns about being invited to a meeting you don’t need to attend. However, some people aren’t as reasonable, so expect occasional resistance.

When this happens, hear the other person out, but if you still don’t agree, stick to your convictions. You know your job and your schedule better than anyone, so do what you think is best.

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