|If you want to see how many insignificant projects you can amass, then you should do just what you are doing now. By taking on these projects and doing them well, you are actually encouraging your manager to give you more.|
The only way to turn off the spigot is for you to say something, and you can certainly do so without appearing to be lazy. When employees complain about the quantity of the assignments handed to them, they sound lazy; when they complain about the quality of the assignments, they sound involved.
The next time one of these little tasks comes your way, let your manager know that you are always willing to help out, but this type of project is going to interfere with several of your other key projects, and then name them. Then ask him if he wants you to change the priorities of these assignments.
Your manager's response may indicate that your so-called menial chores are not so menial, at least in his eye. If you want to continue to be the apple in that eye, you should set aside some time to complete them.