I have several times described myself as making a 5% adjustment to my gameplay in order to work on achievements. That mostly comes through applying a bit of planning and re-arranging my order of content consumption to avoid repetition and grind. I have developed a hatred of being sent back to kill a named enemy that I killed on my way to the quest giver; it is much better to stack incentives if you can foresee it. Guild Wars is particularly good for that because of the rotating Zaishen and other daily quests, so you can plan ahead to combine errands. If you mostly play on the weekends, 5 minutes of picking up quests mid-week can significantly increase your rewards.
Dynamically combining errands, rather than checking upcoming quest lines, is what I call “While I’m Here…” syndrome. I take the Zaishen Vanquish, and I’ll see if I can capture any new elite skills in the zone while I’m here. Maybe I have a quest or two I can advance while I’m here, and I certainly will want to tap the walls to get any cartography points available while I’m here. There could be an outpost I did not need to visit during the main quest line, so I could unlock that while I’m here. And of course if I can get points towards any reputation grinds, I’ll want those while I’m here. Sometimes it starts a bit earlier, because maybe I am here for the Zaishen Bounty, and I notice that I cleared 30% of the zone on the way through, so maybe I should vanquish while I’m here. Hmm, now I have +10% morale, and the next zone over has no adjoining outpost, so maybe I should vanquish that one too while I’m here (or maybe I did that to a previous zone on the way to a vanquish without an adjoining outpost). You can roll this into any quest, dungeon, unlock, etc.: there is probably another goal you can partially advance while you are there.
I find many new players to be very impatient about unlocking their Hall of Monuments points. They got the game two weeks ago, and they need to get to at least 15/50 by the time Guild Wars 2 comes out. Operative phrase: by the time Guild Wars 2 comes out. You get no bonus points for getting it done early. If that is your main point in being here, you should try to minimize your total time consumed, which will mean advancing your various goals efficiently rather than getting a few points quickly and then repeating effort to get the next points. How do you get five HoM points in one day without really trying? Consistently work on several goals and achieve them all at once.
I understand your emotional turmoil at seeing 7 bars 80% full but not completed. Get past it. It will take longer if you rush. You can get most of the may to a lot of titles just playing normally and paying minimal attention to your bonus incentives. “While I’m here” will take care of most of the rest. That last bit is all you need to grind, and there are no extra rewards for having it done before the first day of the early start. I’m right there with you now, looking at my rubies and sapphires and knowing that I could be at 30/50 in one visit to the rare materials vendor, but there are still gem-producing bits of content I want to pursue, so why waste my time and money if I can expect to find a few more along the way? I can instead check the vendor occasionally in case the price dips, try to finish my set of hard mode dungeons, and know that I already have 30/50 in the bag even if it is not on the scoreboard yet.