If you feel a pang of anxiousness when a dreaded meeting invitation lands in your email inbox, you’re not alone. Here’s how to manage requests for meetings that you know you don’t need to attend.

Be sure to come up with solutions

Jayson DeMers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, writes about “unnecessary meetings” in Inc. that you should “voice alternatives, not objections” when you get invited to a meeting you didn’t know about previously.

He writes that when you let the person who came up with the meeting know your thoughts, you should “frame your opinions in the context of alternative options, rather than flat-out objections. Rather than criticizing the point of the meeting or complaining, you’ll be helping the organizer find more meaningful ways to spend your collective time.”

DeMers continues, writing that instead of “saying ‘I don’t need to be in this meeting,’ you can say, ‘I think it might be more productive if I work on completing X Project this afternoon instead.’ Or instead of saying ‘this meeting isn’t necessary,’ you can say, ‘I think a detailed email update might be sufficient.’”

Don’t just say “yes” all the time

Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog, writes on Quickbase that you should “start critically evaluating” all requests to meet.

“There’s something about a meeting invite that seems to compel people to accept – even if the items being discussed at the meeting are much lower priorities than the work you would otherwise be spending that time on. Instead of continuing to fall into that trap, ask yourself this about every meeting invitation you receive: ‘Is this the best way I could be spending that time, relative to the other priorities on my plate?’ If the answer is no, consider declining or at least pushing for a shorter Read More Here