This sort of problem occurs when the database where the repository sits is physically located at a distance from where you are logging from, or there is network latency issue to the ODI repository DB. If this is the case, can you get a virtual machine or remote desktop to a machine the is close to the ODI database repository.
The reason for this is is the repository is a relational database, and every time you are performing an action in ODI studio, it's executed on the relational DB.
This does sound like a network issue as stated previously. But, just in case you need an extra bump in processing power behind ODI Studio, you can modify the max memory used by the JVM. On ODI 11g, go to <ODI_HOME>/oracledi/client/odi/bin and edit the odi.conf file. Modify the line AddVMOption -XX:MaxPermSize=256M, changing the value to something greater, within your systems memory limitations.
Hope this helps.
Being physically on a computer closer (network-wise) to the repository ?
If the problem comes from the network, you need to reduce the distance (or improve your network...).
I would start with mRainey's suggestion though, to be sure it's not just a memory problem.
Want to add one more suggestion to the above.
If you are working on dev and you are vpn connected, then develop the project in local and import it in your remote studio. This will minimize network latency as you will not be browsing the repository again and again.
Things to be taken care of: Internal ID in case of ODI 11g.
1. The ODI Admin team might hesitate to keep adding new IDs to the repository.
2. All team members should have a different Repository ID to avoid collision.
3. You have to sacrifice the configured agent