Dream Theater's John Petrucci helps you better manage your time in part one of his series of practice tips. "Of all the things that can frustrate a guitarist the most, it's the nagging feeling that he's not reaching a certain level of proficiency as quickly as he should."
Using open strings is a great way to add texture and atmosphere to any chord progression. By adding open strings to even the simplest chords, you can create voicings that sound sophisticated, but are really easy (and fun) to play. They're practical, not intimidating, and most certainly don't sound like "jazz chords."