Q. Where I work we have a lot of meetings that go on forever. I think I must spend 80% of my day in meetings that don't really have anything to do with me. It's frustrating because I have projects that I need to get done, but I don't have enough time. Is there any solution?
A. A lot depends on who is scheduling these meetings. If it's somebody that you report to, you might try going to them privately with your concerns. Let them know that you appreciate being included. You understand it's important that you know what's going on, but then mention your project and the urgency for the project and ask them where they think your time will be better spent.
If it's somebody several levels above you, you might try speaking with your supervisor about it, but don't be surprised if your boss is sympathetic to your concerns but still wants you to attend.
If it's a peer who is scheduling the meeting, you'll want to be sensitive to the politics in your organization. If you feel it's appropriate, you might ask for an agenda beforehand so that you can determine whether your presence will be valuable. If there's no point in being in the meeting, let them know that you have a lot of work, and that you can't make it, but that you'll appreciate reviewing the minutes or the action items.