Once you run out of urgency words, you have to incorporate accountability, or you’ll never stick to your lists. IFTT can probably help you out here: “If I Miss This List, Donate $50 to Trump.” “If I Miss THIS List, Send 10 Puppies to Slaughter.” “The Apocalypse List: Quit Social Media, Join ISIS, Don’t Complain.”
But really it sounds like you’re one of those users who’s trapped between wanting to use Twitter as a real-time news feed and Twitter as a place where smart people say smart things. Do you want the best, or the most urgent? For me, the “while you were away” feature, while not amazing, has the effect of tempering some Twitter FOMO. And it reminds me that what I miss… isn’t all that important.
One last thing. Isn’t it kind of crazy we even think that following 1,000 people is somehow manageable?