Use These Three Legitimate Excuses To Avoid Unnecessary Work Meetings

Use These Three Legitimate Excuses To Avoid Unnecessary Work Meetings

Meetings can be a time drain, especially ones that you don’t really need to attend but you show up because you can’t seem to say “no” to them. Here are three legitimate excuses you can use the next time you want to skip out on a superfluous meeting.

Let’s face it; when you work in an organisation, a lot of meetings are scheduled but not all of them may be directly relevant to you. Sometimes it’s okay to refuse to go to a meeting provided that you have a good reason.

Career advice website The Muse provided three reasonable excuses for not attending a meeting:

  • When you’re too busy: Be honest and say, “Unfortunately, I’m devoting every moment I have to [some task] due in two days. Please keep me posted if there’s any way I can be of help later this week.”
  • When you don’t think you’re needed for the meeting: “Thanks so much for including me. From the agenda, it appears the meeting will be focused on product, so I don’t think I’ll be able to add anything to the discussion.”
  • When you’re trying to cut down on meetings to improve productivity: “I’m trying to set a limit of [either a time-frame spent or a specific number] of meetings per day to boost my productivity.”

You can read more about the three legitimate excuses for avoiding extra meetings over at The Muse.

[The Muse via Fast Company]


  • The first 2 excuses are valid, but not the third one about productivity.

    Most organisations won’t accept that one because a) it sounds like what it is – an excuse, b) it is very difficult to prove, and c) can be taken as inferring that you think the meeting isn’t worthwhile.

    A combination of 1 and 2 is good, giving you a much stronger reason for not attending, but also offering to become involved, if needed, later on. Hard to argue with.

    You can also ask to receive a copy of the minutes of the meeting, which then puts pressure on the meeting organiser(s) to make the meeting worthwhile in the first place and run it properly. If you don’t get minutes, or an email summarising the key points, then you can justifiably claim it that it wasn’t very important & therefore would have been a waste of your time.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!