I am finishing up my PhD this year and my adviser has recently recruited two new PhDs to our research group. I am the adviser's first student. Up until this year, we have had consistent individual research meetings weekly. Now, the adviser wants to incorporate weekly group meetings in addition to individual meetings. I think this can benefit some PhDs. However, I don't feel that these weekly group meetings will be particularly valuable to me. This is because I have a clear research agenda that is my top priority right now. I am wrapping up two manuscripts to incorporate into my dissertation, while also applying to jobs and post-docs, to finish my PhD in less than a year.
I am not discounting the importance of reading new research articles or the importance of collaboration between group members. However, I think the mismatch in PhD progression -- me, a finishing PhD with several first-author manuscripts with multiple collaborators, and the 2 new students, starting to test out and find research ideas -- will take away from my priority, finishing the PhD and wrapping up my thesis while also being a potentially stressful, time sink. This is tied into the fact that my adviser often has poor time management skills, allowing meetings to run for over 3 hours.
How do I tell my adviser, in a respectful manner, that I cannot attend all of the group meetings? Or, that I think prioritizing my final two manuscripts and dissertation are a more valuable use of my time?
Thank you for the advice! Let me know if I can clarify anything.