There's nothing worse than starting a recipe and realizing you don't have a certain ingredient or already missed a step. To prevent this, always make sure to gather everything you need before you start cooking. This will make the whole process smoother and prevent any unexpected surprises.
Also, always work in stages when prepping a recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for peeled and diced carrots, wash them all first, then peel them, then cut them. Working in stages like this will make the whole process go faster compared to jumping from task to task.