To me Twitter is most effective when used in very small focused doses. So on a average day I allow myself to waste only a few minutes on it.
I keep the time sucking to a minimum by using this method of operation:log on to Twitter, update folks about the status of me and my hundred cats and then log out of Twitter. Keeping all interaction with Twitter short and very focused may help reduce the negative side effects.
Please be advised that under no circumstances should you keep the dreaded Twitter client open on your desktop while “working”.
I’m a bit brutal about my following policy. I can’t follow all of the people that I find interesting and keep my sanity. I only follow people who provide real value for me; whether that value is humor, information, or some other intangible. This threshold is going to be different for each person. Some people spend more time on Twitter and can follow more people. I’ve also found that I can follow more people now that I use groups in TweetDeck to manage how I read tweets. I usually follow people until it starts getting overwhelming, and then I pare back and unfollow the people who are providing the least value for me.
(via web worker daily)
Also I find Tweedeck a supercool manager of the Twitter flow of internet drivel. I use it to screen out the dullards and stay focused on the content I really want to pay attention to.