There are a number of things you can do to optimize your workflow to run more efficiently.
Remove Unnecessary Fields
Use the Select tool to remove fields that you don't use as early as possible in a stream.
Limit Amount of Data
Use the Sample tool on large record sets to limit the number of records passing through the workflow.
Eliminate Browse Tools
Eliminate the use of Browse tools to reduce the amount of memory used to display the data.
Browse to Data File from Spatial Tool
Balance File Size in Distance Tool
The spatial object selected in the Destination (right side) should be the larger file (more records), while the object selected in the Source (left side) should be the smaller file (fewer records).
Manage Targets and Inputs in Spatial Match Tool
When you work with Polygons, the larger (physically) polygons should be on the Targets side when there are polygons on both sides.
When you work with Polygons and Points, configure with the Polygon on the Targets side and the Points on the Universe side.
Ensure Local Temporary Directory Space
Make sure the specified temporary directory is local and has plenty of space. You can modify this location from the User Settings tab.