I'm at the point where I will completely avoid certain recipes simply because they require sifting and I find it incredibly tedious. Is there a better method? A better tool? A magic sifter?
Use a food processor to aerate the flour and mix other dry ingredients in.
As a bonus for me, the food processor bowl can go in the dishwasher. I have to hand-wash my sifter.
I just use a strainer. Slap something over the top so your flour doesn't fly all over the place, and shake it. It's got such a huge surface area, that it takes much less time than a lot of special purpose sifting tools (those stupid little cups with the trigger handles? What the hell is that about? The crank ones are no better. What am I? An organ grinder monkey?)
The other alternative is to throw the whole mess in a blender or food processor. That'll mix and aerate it.
I wonder if your sieve is too fine. When I sift flour I only need to pour the dry ingredient into the sieve and shake the sieve over a bowl. It takes a couple of minutes at most which I wouldn't call tedious. Are you doing something different?
You can probably just leave the sifting step out. I'm lazy when making food for my own consumption, and often just dump the flour on top of the wet mix in the bowl and sift the salt/soda/whatnot in by hand a bit.
Most recipes don't seem to mind, but some do (some also specify a volume of sifted flour, so that needs to be compensated for as well), so best to make an experimental batch ahead of time and see if it is acceptable.
i almost never "sift," per se -- i just whisk it really well to break up lumps and aerate it a bit.
I also used to find sifting a pain, but got a sifter from Tupperware last year that is fabulous - highly recommended! See http://www.tupperware.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/AUS/website/productgallery/productcollections/bakebasics/bake+2basics+sift+n+stor for details.
I've seen people use a food processor, just dump your dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse a couple of times.