Its been a while now since the Gateway was closed down. Yet we still have professions, that work in the same way that they did before. There's been some nice additions, like the vouchers for SH progression. But the same click fest applies to professions as always.
Its still possible to level professions without wearing out your hands however. Here are some tips that I have found useful.
Don't level Leadership first, even if it is the one that you're aiming to use the most. It takes BY FAR the longest of all the professions to level. Even in the gateway days this was a long slog. Now we need to maximize what we can to make it as tolerable as possible.
Dont choose Alchemy first necessarily. For a while this was a goto, as its mechanics differ and there can be fewer steps to levelling this profession than the others. Now post Gateway the materials used to level it can be VERY expensive. No one seems to make the little potions that used to be handy as a shortcut to making them yourself. If a double professions event comes along, you may consider this option again since it really can speed the levelling more due to alchemy's unique mechanics. (You get double levelling materials, not just double experience.)
Dont choose Black Ice shaping. That one is its own special little niche, working with the Icewind Dale campaign, and 'infusing' equipment. It doesn't help as much with the other professions.
So now choose one at least 2 and maybe 3 of the ones you have left. Do the initial 'hire your first...' workman, or purchase a better one from the auction house if you wish. Eventually you'll come to enjoy the time savings from the purple level craftsman. But if you want to set yourself up for the night and forget it, you can hold off on this for a while.
From there fill all the slots you can with the level 1 task Deep Wilderness Gathering. It has the most experience, and will level the profession rather quickly (a few days is quickly here). Rinse and repeat as they say; until you get to level 7. It also doesn't require any materials, which makes it worry free to setup
There is a special step with the first profession you get to level 4, take a moment and work on this. Level 4 for most professions offers a relatively new task creating a 'simple crate'. This task is unique so far. It allows the use of multiple workers. So here you can purchase 2 (or more) purple level workers. Use them to create your first crate, using the materials you have gathered so far with the Deep Wilderness task. This will build the crate at 100% speed, and reward you with a new professions slot to work with. This speeds the levelling of all other professions.
At level 7 you will get a new Deep Wilderness Gathering which will offer 200-300 professions experience for the same time as the level 1 version. You can now start proceeding with this, for many levels to come.
Then again at level 14 you get a new Deep Wilderness Gathering. On many professions this offers up 1200xp, which is by far the most offered. Continue using this task all the way to level 20.
Follow the tasks up, doing the job that offers the most experience per click. There are more efficient tasks per time, but rarely have I wanted to sit and go through professions every 5 minutes for hours on end. You'll get them all leveled up fast enough, especially once you get all your slots opened up.
Run 3 professions to level 20 to gain another slot. Be looking for the level that has the purple crate task. At this point you can buy purple level crafting tools to finish one of those crates. That finishes a set of crates, hopefully at 'tier 3' and opens up your final slot. Now you can level at maximum speed with a full 9 slots.
Finally at level 21, you get a new Deep Wilderness Gathering. Yes, its every 7 levels. Follow this one up to level 25.
Special note for Alchemy: Work on alchemy on a 2x professions event. You can get 2x the levelling materials from each step. So even if you don't finish the job over the event weekend, you should have built up enough to continue leveling 2x as far.