1. Make sure you have everything you need--prepped ingredients, equipment--ready to roll before you start cooking. Cooks who don't heed this rule can waste a lot of time backtracking in the middle of a recipe to prep ingredients they forgot.
  2. Mis en place really is important. It bears repeating. Preparation is one of the big time-savers.
  3. Cook simultaneously on multiple burners. Professional cooks can work six or more; you can handle at least two or three.
  4. Keep a refuse bowl on the countertop. Avoiding extra trips to the garbage can will save you time.
  5. Embrace sandwich night. Just make your sandwich good, and use a few premium ingredients like bakery-fresh bread and quality condiments.