Speed up your work in After Effects

As I am writing this I am watching AE render out one of many elements for a animation I am working on. Now, until earlier this evening I was fighting with AE freezing, crashing & just being slow. I was at the end of my wits and so I asked the Lord to show me a way through the mess of AE & show me He did! In AE you can render out your individual comps to an avi file with a RGB & an alpha channel. Then you re-import the avi files into AE & use them like you would a pre-comp. The only difference is I can now play at about half speed what used to make AE crash and freeze. Have any tips yourself? Post them in the comments!