Here are a couple of tips that you won’t use frequently, but could save you hours when you need them. The links are specific to Los Angeles and California, but you should look for similar opportunities in your area if you’re not local.
Tip #1: Make an appointment when you have to go to the DMV. I have done this twice now, and it just amazes me to see the people standing in a line that goes out the door and around the building when I can just walk in and be done with my business in fifteen minutes because I had an appointment. It’s easy to make an appointment online here.
Tip #2: Do your juror orientation online. This is a relatively new development, but if you are called into jury duty in Los Angeles County, you should be given the option of completing the orientation by watching online videos. It can delay the time you need to report to the courthouse by two hours or so (e.g., from 7:15 to 9:30). The training video did crash once and had to be restarted from the beginning. You’ll have to answer some questions during the training, but it’ll tell you the correct answer if you get one wrong. The certificate that you have to print is multiple pages, but you should only need the first page for proof of completion. You can learn more about online orientation here (click on the orientation link on the left).
I thought about adding a Tip #3: Check traffic maps before you leave for your destination. But in all honesty, the maps have never been particularly useful. I have found Sigalert.com to be far more accurate than Google Maps, but still takes some time to update. Unfortunately, the best advice when it comes to dealing with LA traffic is still: “Leave early.”