When I first began making macrame I was really obsessed with drawing a pattern for anything I made. I did this for the first two months until I realized I wanted to abandon the hold that symmetry had on me. (Read previous post on symmetry) Now I end up prepping a lot of pieces first. Which consists of picking pots, or anchor materials whether it dowels, driftwood or brass, and then picking the rope type and thickness. After that's done I'll then cut rope for each piece.
I will typically prep around 5 pieces at a time which will yield enough work for a solid week of work. I never include more than one large piece in the total of 5 for the week.
*Keep in mind I have a full time job!
As the week goes on, I'll tackle pieces and select the combinations as I feel ready too. Lately I've started designs then stopped to work on another, then come back to a design, finding that I get inspired by the movement in another piece.
There really isn't much rhyme or reason to my madness except that prepping the pieces in advance seems to help. When I used to work a piece at a time, the prepping of the piece in terms of cutting the rope sometimes took away from the creative process. Doing it in advance and on a different day from working on the actual piece let's those creative juices flow!