This week's down and dirty will focus on the side of hobby work away from the bench: Design.
What I mean is not rules crafting, nor is it list building, but the process by which a project may move from being an abstract idea in your head, to being a finished model stomping it's way through the enemy.
I use an iterative design process, which is to say that I will make improvements to my designs when I see them being possible/necessary.
Another thing I do is make many sketches of a project before I start to build. You do not need to be good at drawing for this, as it is more to get a visual representation of what you want the model to look like, and have notes for what goes where.
This is also where finding reference materials is handy, especially if you are stuck for inspiration.
While making my grot tanks, I have gone through three generations of my design, the first being scrapped entirely due to being too large. This has meant that when I finish my project, I will have 18 of the most awesome little grot tanks I could make, and for a fraction of the cost to build them myself.