All I can suggest are these series of steps....I had faced a similar problem and have bogged down to a sequential procedure at attacking such problems.
1) Practise....practise.......practise.....
2) Practise to read the questions only once, slowly, surely but perfectly. How much ever slowly you read a question, you will be able to comprehend it in not more than 30 seconds. If you attempt to read faster without understanding the question, you will have to read it twice or thrice and so might lose another 15 to 20 seconds more.
3) Infact, the more number of times you read the question repeatedly, you are bound to be lost with the misguiding statements in the questions.
4) While reading it for the very first time itself, jot down the statements as equations or relationships. If x takes two days longer than y does to assemble w articles - you should immediately jot down that rate of y is w/t per day and rate of x is w/(t+2) per day. Working together they assemble 5w/4 articles in 3 days - combined rate is 5w/4 * 1/3 per day. And then comes the formula, combined rate is rate of x + rate of y. Based on that, you can go ahead with the final questioning statement, like how many days will y alone take to assemble 3w/4 articles.
5) Never ever think beyond the stated facts in the question statements. We want data, we want the relationships between data and that's how we process it to find the answer.
6) Most essential part of these problems are the units of measurement for the elements. Rate is always per day/ per hour/ per minutes etc, inversion of time. Speed is specifically a rate of covering a particular distance and so meters/miles/kilometers per second/minute/hour etc. Currency is usually stated in the question itself as $, mixtures can be a little tricky with percentages involved, otherwise they are by weight pound/gram/kilogram or volume in liters/gallons/cubic centimeters/cubic meters etc.
7) Units are essential because they guide you to compare apples with apples and not with bananas or oranges. You might not have to write down the units along with the numbers for solving these questions but as long as you can keep track of what units your numbers are representing in the equation, your equation will be balanced and correct.
8) With practise comes lame tricks like whenever you see a %, immediately put down a 100 in the denominator or numerator depending on what side of the equation it is supposed to be in. There are good chances of spotting a 20, 25 or 50 or a 10 that can divide it much easier and faster. Most GMAT word problems might have lots of numbers but ultimately they cancel out well and end up with a simpler solution.
9) Most cases, practise to simplify the problem statement and when need be, start substituting with answer options and eliminate that don't match.
10) As long as you are able to put down the relationship as an equation, as fast as you can, you will crack these problems.
Good luck and all the very best.
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