Making the soap only takes a couple of hours. Gathering the equipment and preparing the molds can take longer that getting the soap from the lye/water and oils phase to the mold.
If you're organized about your supplies, have your recipe and a notebook ready, double-check it in a lye calculator and think through your colorant(s) and essential oils in advance, you can cut down on the boring stuff and get to the fun more quickly.
Using a stick blender speeds up the time it takes to get from mixing ingredients to trace tremendously. Sometimes it takes as little as 10 minutes, depending on the recipe.
The soap needs to process overnight (can sometimes take another day) until it's firm and can be unmolded and cut. If you're patient enough to get it to a good trace and keep it well insulated while it's in the mold, you'll be rewarded with less waiting time.
Trimming - within a day or two after unmolding/cutting, the soap can be handled enough to trim it. It's usually firm and my sensitive skin has never had trouble with it feeling caustic, although I wouldn't want to forget and rub my eyes.
Curing can take 3-6 weeks. I usually just give mine a month. I have a rack I built from scrap wood that's like a baker's rack. There's a strip down the side with plasticized paper that you can write on with dry-erase marker. I write the date it was made and the name of the recipe.