A few weeks ago, I had to find a way to optimise code that I wrote. I had no idea where to start. After mucking about for a bit and booking no progress, I remembered that I have a subscription to Resharper Ultimate, which includes dotTrace.
I had never found a use for it until I had to look for performance optimisations in my code. I had never had this problem before, so it took me a while before I realised that I had the perfect tool for the job already.
After getting to know the tool, I found the issue and solved it as best I could. I also wondered how many times I have overlooked a tool or feature at my disposal that could have made my life significantly easier.
Now, I regularly take time to google (also a tool at your disposal, increase your google-fu regularly) tips and tricks about the tools that I use: Visual Studio, Resharper Ultimate and Fiddler, but design and architectural patterns as well.
The moral of the story today is: know your tools and know them well. Learn what they have to offer, when to use what feature and learn the shortcuts. They really do save time.