I am still practicing with productivity methods, so I am not very familiar with terminology and techniques... maybe it's all already written in a technique I have not learned yet. My question is about "backlogs", "pending tasks" and new tasks.
Let me explain my situation by examples: I have some tasks due for next week.
I think each of this task could be completed in a day, so I plan to work half day on this, half day in that, and be done for next week.
I discover my technical background is not enough for task#1, such that I have to study an half day more than planned (this happens often because I am practicing in my work).
Task 2 is apparently simple, but there is something wrong in components installed in my IDE (or subversione of the project, or any other "logistic" problem), so I have to fix that. This happens often too.
Today I am asked to complete a new high priority task to be completed tomorrow.
I think I am almost done with task 3, but at last I notice a new bug, so I have work another day to fix it.
Yesterday I had to phone a person in the morning, but I was occupied by one of the tasks above or already on the phone with someone else, and I can call that person only between 10 am and 11 am, so I can complete this task on the due day.
I receive a request for something (example bug fix), I begin working on it if I think it will take only 30 minutes to complete, and I continue working on it if it takes longer (I hope to get at least a COMPLETED task in a day).
I am able to focus on one of the tasks I am working (for example studying to regain technical background, maybe going too much into the details), but doing so I let the other tasks be overdue.
I really don't see my tasks can be divided into subtasks, and I am avoiding to set deadlines because they are not a stimulus to complete tasks in time (unfortunately, deadlines are set by others). Ah, I am already working besides my working hours.
Can I adopt any strategy to avoid asking my boss to remove some of my duties? Should I force myself to respect deadlines (but I don't think my problem is a lack of motivation)? Should I learn to work under my exptectations, just to be able to give some result in the given time?