After all my ingredients are laid out, I run through what I would like to do in my head. This is where a little basic knowledge of cooking times comes in handy. For example, I know that carrots take longer to soften than onions. So if I have both carrots and onions, I’ll plan on adding the carrots first. If you’re cooking with meat, it’s helpful to know about how long it takes to cook. If you don’t know, you can refer to a recipe that calls for what you’re using to get an idea. You don’t have to be rigid here, but it helps to run through what you would like to see happen before you get going.