How big is your backlog and how do you keep it under control? Do you actually keep track and do all of it, or do you have a method of eliminating old but valid tasks such as declaring e-mail bankruptcy?
For example, at the moment, I don't have any critical tasks/items/events which require immediate action (I typically get about 5-10 of those per working day). But I do have 674 e-mails which require my action, 113 issues/tickets/tasks which require that I either do/solve/respond/delegate them.
That's a backlog which I would in the ideal world clear before doing anything else.
And then there's scheduled work which I don't count in the "backlog" category - 87 tasks that require more than half an hour of my work and can't be delegated, and about 1000 tasks which don't have any time constraints (yet), but someday I will either have to take action on, or find a way to delegate/avoid.
I can't afford to commit my whole workday to communication and no time to "real work" so I schedule my time appropriately (between 60:40 and 90:10 in favor of the inbox) and thus accumulate "communication backlog" or things I need to respond to. I don't like it, but it seems that I'm busier than I'd like to be and this backlog is obviously something that I try to handle in various ways (reduce the number of projects, delegate etc).
Please note that I'm not looking for advice how to handle my specific case; I'm trying to get a feel how many of you consider it "normal" to have a backlog (or how big of a backlog you consider normal), and what are your write-off strategies for things you simply don't have the time to do or deal with.