As noted each persons situation can result in different strategies. I'll toss in some ideas for those in a rural setting where there is a long, unpaved driveway.
For years I had a huge, beautiful oak tree at the end of my driveway. Then the road crew came along to dig a drainage ditch and took out a big chunk of the trees roots. It became a poor, half dead, struggling thing, always in danger of dropping large limbs. One spring in a big storm it finally fell. That was a sad day, but it was pretty cool how a whole bunch of my neighbors came along and helped me cut it up for firewood. :)
The next winter I had something of a revelation regarding a great way to conserve energy with my snow shoveling. In the warmer months I tend to park my car maybe 100 feet up the driveway, well away from the road. However, it's just parked in the yard, not in a garage or anything. In the winter I'd shovel a huge amount of snow for my drive and a turn around section so I didn't have to back out a long drive. Without the half dead tree looming over the end of the driveway though I realized one day that it was completely stupid and wasteful of my personal time/energy to shovel this long, car wide section. Instead I started backing my car into the driveway from the start, but only going back about a car length and just parking there. There was absolutely no reason I had to drive/shovel my way back to the normal spot. I stay a car length back from the road so the frag from the county snow plows isn't pummeling my car. So now I just have a short section to shovel to the width of the car and the rest is simply a single shovel wide foot path up to my door.
I have to agree with Kyle that it's best to try and push the snow as much as possible rather than lifting it. If you are dealing with irregular surfaces like a dirt/gravel drive/yard I find it can be handy to be a bit sloppy initially, leaving some snow to get packed down into a smoother surface. After this base is made I find it tends to be easier to push my metal shovel along it without the shovel getting caught and hung up on sticks, dirt bumps, grass, etc.