My hair used to take HOURS...I've tried t-shirts, microfiber, blah blah. They would not dry it enough so diffusing would take forever then finishing with air drying took even longer still. I took a chance and bought the Curls Like Us towels and WOWZA!!!!! I use those, then diffuse in 3-4 sections until about 75-80% dry (2 minutes each section - I use a timer), then air dry...doing this routine it finishes drying within maybe an hour.
remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!!
My hair:
2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
My routine:
Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.