We have team projects at school and unfortunately, my team wants to meet on weekends, saying they have no time to do so during the week.

I have no problem doing my part of the work during the week, but I usually have other plans for the weekend.

How can I politely decline, while assuring them that I am still willing to work?

  • Is there a reason you can't request it the same way they're requesting to not meet during the week? (or is it only because you're outnumbered here?) – Imus Nov 25 '19 at 14:18
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    Do you think you could make it some weekends? ARe the projects during the week outside working hours? Or school hours? I am not clear if you are a student or how does it work. – Mykazuki Nov 26 '19 at 1:01
  • How large of a project is it? I would handle this quite differently with a week long project vs year or two long project. – Jesse Nov 27 '19 at 0:12
  • Hi Maria! We're gonna need a bit more info before we can help you with this issue. Have you tried telling them before? If so, how did it go? If not, what let you think it wouldn't go well to "just tell them"? How many people compose your team? Once you've edited to include this info feel free to raise a mod flag so we can quickly reopen it. I'm here to help if you have questions or need help with anything! – avazula Nov 27 '19 at 15:01

In your case, the meeting (or avoiding a meeting) is not the final purpose, but only a means to the purpose.

Your correct desired result is:

How can I fulfill my role in the team, without sacrificing my weekends?

And the answer comes rom the science of management. You need to do the following (you might be able to do it by yourself, without the need of your colleagues):

The WBS is mostly about splitting the big work into smaller and smaller units of work, until each unit of work can be "easily" achieved by one person.

The planning is about how and when to do the tasks, and by whom, in order to reach the desired goal.

In your case, you need to find the following:

  • which units of work have to be done by yourself;
  • who has to finish which units of work, in order for you to be able to do your job;
  • who needs the results of your work, in order to be able to do theirs.

Once you have these:

  • you let your colleagues work on weekends => they give you work;
  • between weekends, you do your things => you give them work.

Once you have done all of the above, you just present the results to your colleagues. If they are reasonable, they will accept it. Alternatively, they might request some adjustments, to the WBS or to the plan - which is quite common. Some "negotiation" will be needed, until things align properly.

If they are unreasonable, then you need to seek the support of an advisor / boss / project coordinator / ... and they will act as a mediator to the problem.

Of course, you will explain to your colleagues that you came up with the above-described system, because although you are busy during the weekends, you still want to fulfill your role in the team and in the project.

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