I have a pattern for getting through office paperwork that is not widely known. I was a manager for many years (nearly 20), so this observation applies to the type of incoming paperwork, email and messages that pile up on a manager's desk.
nothing gets to my desk dealing with real people involving personnel
issues. Real people issues must be dealt with immediately since they
can only get worse.
Also, personnel issues are something everyone can learn in training classes. Personnel lessons can be taught. That is absolutely not true for management. Management can only be learned on the job in a first rate managerial environment. I could never have learned a lesson my boss in banking once told me:"Right now, Michael, everyone in the bank loves and appreciates you; the minute I make you a Vice President that will all change." True and what a shock to me.
Back to the paperwork efficiency. I create a pile of paper and electronic printouts. The pile usually has no order; big jobs and little jobs are mixed together. I start at the top and keep working until I get to the bottom with no interruptions permitted. The advantage of this approach is that it is rewarding. Pleasurable items are randomly mixed with distasteful ones and so are a few big jobs and a dozen tiny ones.
I have always found "the pile" to be a rewarding and by far the fastest way to work.