First, conceptualize. Then, sketch or draw. And then, paint. These are the basic stages of developing an artwork. It's a simple plan, but still a plan.
Planning is essential in achieving your goals. It helps minimize or eliminate mistakes, therefore saving you time. Not used to planning? Then, start with the basics. You don't have to develop a strict set of procedures, committing your plan to memory may do just fine.
Here's an example of how I planned my project today. First, I sketched my design, measured, measured again, cut, sew and finally worked on putting the finishing touches.
Design Sketch for Tank Top Art, ACEO.
Hand-stitched Flower Applique and Crochet Edgings.