This one is for you Jodie.
Read your instructions sheet right through and apply your own logic to what you do, when.
Most instruction sheets have you work from one garment area to another.
You will increase your efficiency and effectiveness if you do two things:
1. Do as much as you can to each flat piece before you attach it to another
2. Once you have done all you can to the flat sections, next try to make up all the units, as far you you can, and then put those units together.
3. Do as many like activities at the same time
For example this means:
Sew all your darts anywhere in the garment, sew on all patch pockets, put in the zippers, sew all shoulder seams (garment and say facings) - you get the drift.
Only press when you have run out of anything else you can do at the machine pick up all pieces and move them over to the ironing board for one ironing session.
When I say put together the units this would mean, for example, sewing the sleeve seams when you are doing a lot of seam sewing, press them in a pressing session, and then, rather than attaching the sleeves to the garment body, put the cuffs on, or hem the sleeves, before you set them in.
Bottom line, forget the instruction pattern instructions and trust yourself. Do like things together and keep units hand-sized as long as possible before you put together a large garment.