In any Harvest Moon game, finding the time to perform all your tasks or aims in any given day can be one of the greatest challenges. As Friendship and Courtship are important in these games, it is not farming tasks alone that require a judicious use of your time.
In terms of transport, it is vital, therefore, to acquire a transport animal as early as possible, whether that animal is a Horse (in most Harvest Moon games), an Ostrich (available in Tree of Tranquility) or one among an assortment of exotic Monsters (in Rune Factory). Having a Horse or other transport animal essentially cuts your travel time in half.
Even better than a transport animal is a Teleport Stone. These do not exist in all Harvest Moon games and when they do, the means of obtaining one will differ from game to game. In FoMT/MFoMT, the teleport stone is found in a Mine. In HM DS/Cute DS, it is purchased with medals in the Casino. In Island of Happiness, it can be purchased ultimately from Chen at his Market once unlocked for a rather high price.
It definitely is worth having, however. On an Island that is large enough to require three different bridges, you would be unable to make or sustain friendships with every one important if you did not have a Teleport Stone.
Travel by teleport is instantaneous and it can be used in your own Field, once you have unlocked the Rice Paddies, to save time. A tip on how to do this when watering your crops is given in my General Guide.
It is not with respect to travel alone that one needs to find ways to 'cheat' time.
In HM DS/Cute DS, there are Necklaces that, when equipped, allow a player to perform any task inside any building. If you have an upgraded Necklace that corresponds with the highest level of Tool that you are using, you even can charge your Tools while using them inside buildings. This is an official way to 'cheat time' and players, including myself, really loved having the option.
In other Harvest Moon games, however, it is a little trickier, but there are ways and means for the clever player.
In FoMT/MFoMT, you can transform some of the Cursed Tools into Blessed Tools if you use them during a Festival. As usual is the ability to fish during Festivals and Events. That option did not exist in HM DS/Cute DS, but was not needed with the Necklace option.
In Island of Happiness, once again your character can fish to his/her heart's content during any Festival. As the Festivals occur at the Meadow, however, you will be restricted to river-fishing, which means that you cannot catch Large Fish. Even so, it is a valuable option. The appearance of many characters, including one of the Eligible Bachelors and one of the Eligible Girls, is predicated upon your Fishing accomplishments. Early in the game, Fish are one of the few Recovery items that exist. Make certain that you do USE your Recovery items while fishing during a Festival, however. Your actual SR (Stamina Recovery) and FL (Fullness) bars will not be displayed during Festivals, but watch your character carefully for the physical responses that signify energy loss and eat raw fish to counteract this if you have nothing better.
Even later in the game, you may find that time still is one of the greatest challenges. As you need to fish regularly at all points in the game to keep characters on the island, it is a good idea to catch a few fish at each Festival and ship them when you return home in order to meet your character quota.
Mining in Harvest Moon may or may not consume time. Even when it does, time will pass more slowly in the Mines. In Island of Happiness, time does pass in the Mine, but more slowly than above ground. Even so, if you need to ship items from the Mines before 5.00 p.m., make adjustments in your mining schedule for that. Until you have a Teleport Stone, it will be a long journey from your Ranch to the Mine...