Thanks for reading, and commenting! Excellent questions, as well.
The badge is not mine, sadly. I did a Google search for images free to use with credit, and found it via Flickr. If you click the link in the caption, you should be able to find the pic, and maybe where the physical badge came from.
As for your balance question — that is super tough. I am trying (key word “trying”) to balance it in the same way I try to manage my obsession with checking my Medium stats. I try to use a schedule: every 30 minutes, I go through the inboxes for about 10 minutes or so. Then, I get to work. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a guidepost I try to use.