Since you're a new hubber, perhaps what you need to do is narrow your focus and not try to do so many things at once. Identify, say, 3 important tasks (e.g., becoming familiar with the site, writing hubs) that you can accomplish and save the rest (e.g., hub hopping, following hub threads that aren't directly related to what you're writing) for when you have some spare time. Then, as you get more comfortable, know the ropes better, and have built up a nice portfolio of hubs, you can start adding some of those other things that are nice to do but not critical.
As for keeping up with comments, I have over 300 followers, but not all of them read every hub I publish (and I only publish intermittently), and of those who read my hubs, not all of them comment. So responding to comments is not that difficult, and I do make it a point to respond to all of the people who leave comments. For me, it's a common courtesy, and I want to let them know I appreciate them for reading my hubs.
Hope this helps, and welcome to HubPages.